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THE POETICAL WORKS OF 
. S. T. COLERIDGE 



IN THREE VOLUMES 
VOL I 



THE POETICAL 
AND DRAMATIC WORKS OF 



S. T. COLERIDGE 




VOL I 



LONDON 
WILLIAM PICKERING 

1844 



CHISWICK : 

PRINTED BY C. VV HITTINGHAM. / 



PREFACE. 1 

COMPOSITIONS resembling- those of the present 
volume are not unfrequently condemned for their 
querulous egotism. But egotism is to be con 
demned then only when it offends against time 
and place, as in a history or an epic poem. To 
censure it in a monody or sonnet is almost as ab- 
surd as to dislike a circle for being round. Why 
then write Sonnets or Monodies ? Because they 
give me pleasure when perhaps nothing else 
could. ^ After the more violent emotions of sor 
row, the mind demands amusement, and can find 
it in employment alone : but full of its late suffer 
ings, it can endure no employment not in some 
measure connected with them. Forcibly to turn 
away our attention to general subjects is a painful 
and most often an unavailing effort. 

f " But ! how grateful to a wounded heart 
I The tale of misery to impart 

From others eyes bid artless sorrows flow, 
, And raise esteem upon the base of woe !" 

SHAW. 

1 To the first and second editions. 



VI PREFACE. 

The communicativeness of our nature leads us to 
describe our own sorrows ; in the endeavour to 
describe them, intellectual activity is exerted ; 
and from intellectual activity there results a plea 
sure, which is gradually associated, and mingles 
as a corrective, with the painful subject of the 
I description. " True !" (it may be answered) " but 
I how is the Public interested in your sorrows or 
your description?" We are for ever attributing 
personal unities to imaginary aggregates. What / 
is the Public, but a term for a number of scattered 
individuals ? Of whom as many will be interested 
in these sorrows, as have experienced the same or 
similar. 

" Holy be the lay 
Which mourning soothes the mourner on his way." 

If I could judge of others by myself, I should notiv 
hesitate to affirm, that the most interesting pas 
sages in all writings are those in which the author 
developes his own feelings ? The sweet voice of 
Cona 1 never sounds so sweetly, as when it speaks 
of itself; and I should almost suspect that man of 

an unkindly heart, who could read the opening 

i 

of the third book of the Paradise Lost without pe 
culiar emotion. By a law of our nature, he, who 

1 Ossian. 



PREFACE. Vil 

labours under a strong feeling, is impelled to seek 
for sympathy ; but a poet s feelings are all strong. 
Quicquid amet valde amat. Akenside therefore 
speaks with philosophical accuracy when he 
classes Love and Poetry, as producing the same 
effects : 

" Love and the wish of Poets when their tongue 
Would teach to others bosoms, what so charms 
Their own." PLEASURES or IMAGINATION. 

There is one species of egotism which is truly 
disgusting ; not that which leads us to communi 
cate our feelings to others, but that which would 
reduce the feelings of others to an identity with 
our own. The atheist, who exclaims, " pshaw !" 
when he glances his eye on the praises of Deity, 
is an egotist : an old man, when he speaks con 
temptuously of Love-verses, is an egotist : and 
the sleek favorites of fortune are egotists, when 
they condemn all " melancholy, discontented" 
verses. Surely, it would be candid not merely to 
ask whether the poem pleases ourselves, but to 
consider whether or no there may not be others, 
to whom it is well calculated to give an innocent 
pleasure. 

I shall only add, that each of my readers will, 
I hope, remember, that these poems on various 
subjects, which he reads at one time and under 



V1U PREFACE. 

the influence of one set of feelings, were written 
j at different times and prompted by very different 
feelings ; and therefore that the supposed in* 
feriority of one poem to another may sometimes 
be owing to the temper of mind, in which he 
happens to peruse it. 



My poems have been rightly charged with a 
profusion of double-epithets, and a genera] ^turgid- 
ness. I have pruned the double-epithets with no 
sparing hand; and used my best efforts to tame 
the swell and glitter both of thought and diction. 1 
This latter fault however had insinuated itself into 
my Religious Musings with such intricacy of 
union, that sometimes I have omitted to disen- 

I 

1 Without any feeling of anger, I may yet be allowed to 
express some degree of surprise, that after having run the 
critical gauntlet for a certain class of faults, which I had, 
viz. a too ornate, and elaborately poetic diction, and nothing 1 
having come beibre the judgment-seat of the Reviewers 
during the long interval, I should for at least seventeen 
years, quarter after quarter, have been placed by them in 
the foremost rank of the proscribed, and made to abide the 
brunt of abuse and ridicule for faults directly opposite, viz. 
bald and prosaic language, and an affected simplicity both 
of matter and manner faults which assuredly did not enter 
into the character of my compositions. 

Literary Life, i. 51. Published 1817. 



PREFACE. IX 

tangle the weed from the fear of snapping- the 
flower. A third and heavier accusation has been 
brought against me, that of obscurity. ; but not, I 
think, with equal justice. An author is obscure, 
when his conceptions are dim and imperfect, and 
his language incorrect, or inappropriate, or in 
volved. A poem that abounds in allusions, like 
the Bard of Gray, or one that impersonates high 
and abstract truths, like Collins s Ode on the po 
etical character, claims not to be popular but 
should be acquitted of obscurity. The deficiency V 
is in the reader. But this is a charge which 
every poet, \vhose imagination is warm and rapid, 
must expect from his contemporaries. Milton did v 
not escape it ; and it was adduced with virulence ^ 
against Gray and Collins. We now hear no more 
of it : not that their poems are better understood 
at present, than they were at their first publica 
tion ; but their fame is established ; and a critic 
would accuse himself of frigidity or inattention, 
who should profess not to understand them. But 
a living writer is yet sub judice ; and if we can 
not follow his conceptions or enter into his feel- 



ings, it is more consoling to our pride to consider 
him as lost beneath, than as soaring above us. If 
any man expect from my poems the same easiness 
of style which he admires in a drinking-song, for 



X PREFACE. 

him I have not written. Intelligibilia, non in- 
tellectum a dfero. 

I expect neither profit nor general fame by my 
writings ; and I consider myself as having been 
amply repaid without either. Poetry has been to 
me its own "exceeding great reward:" it has 
soothed my afflictions ; it has multiplied and re- 
fined my enjoyments ; it has endeared solitude ; 
and it has given me the habit of wishing to dis 
cover the Good and the Beautiful in all that meets 
and surrounds me. 

S. T. C. 



CONTENTS. 
VOLUME I. 

JUVENILE POEMS. 

Genevieve ................................................ 3 

Sonnet. To the Autumnal Moon .................. 3 

Anthem for the Children of Christ s Hospital ...... 4 

Time, real and imaginary .............................. 5 

Monody on the Death of Chatterton .................. 6 

Songs of the Pixies ...................... , ............... 13 

The Raven ................................................ 18 

Music ...................................................... 20 

Devonshire Roads ....................... . ............... 21 

Inside the Coach .......................................... 22 

Mathematical Problem ................................. 23 

The Nose ................................................... 27 

Monody on a Tea-kettle ................................. 29 

Absence, a Farewell Ode ..... . ........................ 30 

.Sonnet. On Leaving School ........................ 31 

To the Muse ............................................. 32 

With Fieldin s Amelia .............................. 33 






Sonnet. On hearing that his Sister s Death was 

inevitable ............................................. 33 

On Seeing a Youth affectionately welcomed by a 

Sister ................................................ 34 

The same ...... , ............................................ 35 

Pain ......................................................... 35 

Life ......................................................... 36 

Lines on an Autumnal Evening .................. .. 36 

The Rose ................................................ 40 

The Kiss .................................................. 41 

To a Young Ass ....................................... ... 43 

Happiness ................................................ 44 

Domestic Peace ............................... , ......... 48 

The Sigh .................................................. 48 



XH CONTENTS. 

JUVENILE POEMS. Page 

Epitaph on an Infant 49 

On Imitation 50 

Honor 50 

Progress of Vice 53 

Lines written at the King s Arms, Ross 54 

Destruction of the Bastile 55 

Lines to a beautiful Spring in a Village 57 

On a Friend who died of a Frenzy Fever induced 

by calumnious reports 58 

To a Young Lady, with a Poem on the French 

Revolution 60 

Sonnet I. " My Heart has thanked thee, Bowles" 62 
II. " As late I lay in Slumber s Shadowy 

Vale" 63 

III. " Though roused by that dark vizir 

Riot rude 64 

IV. " When British Freedom from a 

happier land" 64 

V. " It was some Spirit, Sheridan!" 65 

VI. " O what a loud and fearful shriek" 66 
VII. " As when faroff" 66 

- VIII. "Thou gentle look" 67 

IX. " Pale Roamer through the Night !" 68 

X. " Sweet Mercy !" 68 

- XI. " Thou Bleedest, my Poor Heart" ... 69 

XII. To the Author of the Robbers 70 

Lines, composed while climbing Brockley Coomb 70 

Lines in the Manner of Spenser 71 

Imitated from Ossian 73 

The Complaint of Ninathoma 74 

Imitated from the Welsh 75 

To an Infant 75 

Lines in Answer to a Letter from Bristol 76 

To a Friend in Answer to a melancholy Letter... 80 

Religious Musings 82 

The Destiny of Nations, a Vision 98 



CONTENTS. Xlll 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Ode to the Departing Year ........................... 121 

France, an Ode ........................ . ............. .... 128 

Fears in Solitude ....................................... 132 

Fire, Famine, and Slaughter ........................ 141 

Love ............................. . ........................ 145 

The Ballad of the Dark Ladie. A Fragment.... 150 

Lewti, or the Circassian Love Chaunt ............ 152 

The Picture, or the Lover s Resolution ......... 155 

The Night Scene, a Dramatic Fragment ......... 162 

To an Unfortunate Woman .......................... 166 

To an Unfortunate Woman at the Theatre ______ 167 

Lines composed in a Concert Room ............... 168 

The Keepsake .......................................... 170 

To a Lady, with Falconer s Shipwreck ............ 172 

To a Young Lady on her recovery from a Fever 173 

Something Childish, but very Natural ............ 174 

Home-sick: written in Germany .................. 175 

Answer to a Child s Question ... v ................ 176 

A Child s Evening Prayer ........................... 176 

The Visionary Hope .................................... 177 

The Happy Husband ................................. 178 

Recollections of Love ................................. 179 

On revisiting the Sea-shore ........................ 181 

Hymn before Sunrise, in the Vale of Chamouni 183 
Lines written in the Album at Elbingerode in the 

Hartz Forest ....................................... 187 

On observing a Blossom on the First of Feb 

ruary ................................................ 189 

The JEolian Harp ...................................... 190 

Reflections on having left a place of Retirement 193 

To the Rev. George Coleridge ..................... 196 

Inscription for a Fountain on a Heath ............ 199 

A Tombless Epitaph ................................. 200 

This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison .................. 201 

To a Friend, who had declared his intention of 

writing no more Poetry ........................ 205 



XIV CONTENTS. 

SIBYLLINE LEAVES. Page 
To WilUam Wordsworth, composed on the night 
after his recitation of a Poem on the growth 

of an individual mind 206 

The Nightingale 211 

Frost at Midnight 216 

The Three Graves 219 

Dejection, an Ode 235 

Ode to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire 241 

Ode to Tranquillity 244 

To a Young Friend, on his proposing to domes 
ticate with the Author 246 

Lines to W. L. while he sang a song to Purcell s 

Music 249 

Addressed to a Younsr Man of Fortune 249 

ij 

Sonnet. To the River Otter 250 

Composed on a journey homeward after 

hearing of the birth of a Son 251 

- To a F/iend 252 

The Virgin s Cradle Hymn 252 

Epitaph on an Infant 253 

Melancholy, a Fragment 253 

Tell s Birth Place 254 

A Christmas Carol 256 

Human Life 258 

Moles 259 

, The Visit of the Gods 259 

Elegy, imitated from Akenside 261 

Separation 262 

On taking leave of 263 

The Pangmore sharp than all 263 

KublaKhan 266 

The Pains of Sleep 270 

Limbo 272 

Ne plus ultra 273 

Apologetic Preface to Fire, Famine, and Slaughter 274 



JUVENILE POEMS 



VOL. I. B 



GENE VIE VE. 

MAID of my Love, sweet Genevieve ! 

In Beauty s light you glide along : 

Your eye is like the star of eve, 

And sweet your Voice, as Seraph s song-. 

Yet not your heavenly Beauty gives 

This heart with passion soft to glow : 

Within your soul a Voice there lives ! 

It bids you hear the tale of Woe. 

When sinking low the Sufferer wan 

Beholds no hand outstretcht to save, 

Fair, as the bosom of the Swan 

That rises graceful o er the wave, 

I ve seen your breast with pity heave, 

And therefore love I you, sweet Genevieve ! 



SONNET. 

TO THE AUTUMNAL MOON. 



. 

MILD Splendour of the various-vested Night ! 
Mother of wildly^wojrkmg visions ! hail ! 
I watch thy gliding, while with watery light 
Thy weak eye glimmers through a fleecy veil ; 



4 JUVENILE POEMS 

And when thou lovest thy pale orb to shroud 
Behind the" gathered blackness lost on higii ; 
And when thou dartest from the wind-rent cloud 
Thy placid lightning 1 o er the awakened sky. 
Ah such is Hope ! as changeful and as fair ! 
Now dimly peering on the wistful sight ; 
Now hid behind the dragon-winged Despair : 
But soon emerging in her radiant might 
She o er the sorrow-clouded breast of Care 
Sails, like a meteor kindling in its flight. 



ANTHEM 

FOR THE CHILDREN OF CHRIST S HOSPITAL. 

t SERAPHS ! around th Eternal s seat who throng 
-. 

With tuneful extacies of praise : 
O ! teach our feeble tongues like yours the song 

Of fervent gratitude to raise 
Like you, inspir d with holy flame 
To dwell on that Almighty name 
Who bade the child of woe no longer sigh, 
And Joy in tears o erspread the Widow s eye. 

Th all-gracious Parent hears the wretch s 
prayer ; 

The meek tear strongly pleads on high ; 
Wan Resignation struggling with despair 

The Lord beholds with pitying eye ; 
Sees cheerless want unpitied pine, 
Disease on earth its head recline, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 5 

And bids compassion seek the realms of woe 
To heal the wounded, and to raise the low. 

She comes ! she comes ! the meek ey d power 

I see 

With liberal hand that loves to bless ; 
The clouds of sorrow at her presence ifee ; 

Rejoice ! rejoice ! ye children of distress ! 
The beams that play around her head 
Thro want s dark vale their radiance spread : 
The young 1 uncultur d mind imbibes the ray, 
And vice reluctant quits th expected prey. 

Cease, thou lorn mother ! cease thy wailings 

drear ; 

Ye babes ! the unconscious sob forego ; 
Or let full gratitude now prompt the tear 

Which erst did sorrow force to flow. 
Unkindly cold and tempest shrill 
In life s morn oft the traveller chill, 
But soon his path the sun of Love shall warm ; 
And each glad scene look brighter for the storm ! 

1789. 

TIME, REAL AND IMAGINARY. 

AN ALLEGORY. 

ON the wide level of a mountain s head, 
(I knew not where, but twas some faery place) 
Their pinions,, ostrich-like, for sails outspread, 
Two lovely children run an endless race, 



6 JUVENILE POEMS. 

f 

A sister and a brother ! 
That far outstripp d the other ; 
Yet ever runs she with reverted face, 
And looks and listens for the boy behind : 

For he, alas ! is blind ! 

O er rough and smooth with even step he passed, 
And knows not whether he be first or last. 



MONODY ON THE DEATH OF CHATTERTON. 

O WHAT a wonder seems the fear of death, 
Seeing- how gladly we all sink to sleep, 
Babes, Children, Youths, and Men, 
Night following night for threescore years and ten ! 
But doubly strange, where life is but a breath 
To sigh and pant with, up Want s rugged steep. 

Away, Grim Phantom ! Scorpion King, away ! 
Reserve thy terrors and thy stings display 
For coward Wealth and Guilt in robes of State ! 
Lo ! by the grave I stand of one, for whom 
A prodigal Nature and a niggard Doom 
(That all bestowing, this withholding all,) 
Made each chance knell from distant spire or dome 
Sound like a seeking Mother s anxious call, 
Return, poor Child ! Home, weary Truant, home ! 

Thee, Chatterton ! these unblest stones protect 



JUVENILE POEMS. 7 

From want, and the bleak freezing s of neglect. 
Too long before the vexing Storm-blast driven 
Here hast thou found repose ! beneath this sod ! 
Thou ! O vain word ! thou dwell st not with the clod ! 
Amid the shining Host of the Forgiven 
Thou at the throne of Mercy and thy God 
The triumph of redeeming Love dost hymn 
(Believe it, my Soul !) to harps of Seraphim. 

Yet oft, perforce, ( tis suffering Nature s call) 
I weep, that heaven-born Genius so should fall ; 
And oft, in Fancy s saddest hour, my soul 
Averted shudders at the poisoned bowl. 
Now groans my sickening heart, as still I view 

Thy corse of livid hue ; 

Now indignation checks the feeble sigh, [eye ! 
Or flashes through the tear that glistens in mine 

Is this the land of song-ennobled line ? 

Is this the land, where Genius ne er in vain 

Poured forth his lofty strain ? 
Ah me ! yet Spenser, gentlest bard divine, 
Beneath chill Disappointment s shade, 
His weary limbs in lonely anguish laid ; 

And o er her darling dead 

Pity hopeless hung her head, 
While u mid the pelting of that merciless storm," 
Sunk to the cold earth Otway s famished form ! 

Sublime of thought, and confident of fame ; 



8 JUVENILE POEMS. 

From vales where Avon winds the Minstrel 1 came. 

Light-hearted youth ! aye, as he hastes along-, 

He meditates the future song 1 , 
How dauntless JElla fray d the Dacyan foe ; 

And while the numbers flowing strong 1 

V 

In eddies whirl, in surges throng, 
Exulting in the spirits genial throe 
In tides of power his life-blood seems to flow. 

And now his cheeks with deeper ardors flame, 
His eyes have glorious meanings, that declare 
More than the light of outward day shines there, 
A holier triumph and a sterner aim ! 
Wings grow within him ; and he soars above 
Or Bard s or Minstrel s lay of war or love. 
-Friend to the friendless, to the Sufferer health, 
-He hears the widow s prayer, the good man s 

praise; 

To scenes of bliss transmutes his fancied wealth, 
And young and old shall now see happy days. 
On many a waste he bids trim Gardens rise, 
Gives the blue sky to many a prisoner s eyes ; 
And now in wrath he grasps the patriot steel, 
And her own iron rod he makes Oppression feel. 

~- eet Flower of Hope ! free Nature s genial child ! 
That didst so fair disclose thy early bloom, 
Filling the wide air with a rich perfume ! 
For thee in vain all heavenly aspects smil d ; 

1 Avon, a river near Bristol ; the birth-place of Chatterton. 



POEMS. 

From the hard world brief respite could they 
The frost nipp d sharp without, the canker pr- 

within ! 
Ah ! where are fled the charms of vernal Gra 

And Joy s wild gleams that lighten d o er thy face * 
Youth of tumultuous soul, and haggard eye ! 
Thy wasted form, thy hurried steps I view, 
On thy wan forehead starts the lethal dew, 
And oh I the anguish of that shuddering sigh ! 

_ r- Such were the struggles of the gloomy hoar, 

When Care, of withered brow. 
Prepared the poison s death-cold power : 
Already to thy lips was raised the bowl, 
When near thee stood Affection meek 
(Her bosom bare, and wildly pale her cheek) 
Thy sullen gaze she bade thee roll 
On scenes that well might melt thy soul ; 
Thy native cot she flashed upon thy view, 
Thy native cot, where still, at close of day. 
Peace smiling sate, and listened to thy la- 
Thy Sister s shrieks she bade thee hear, 
And mark thy mother s thrilling tear ; 

See, see her breast s convulsive throe, 
Her silent agony of woe ! 
Ah I dash the poisoned chalice from thy hand ! 

And thou had st dashed it, at her soft command, 
But that Despair and Indignation rose, 
- And told again the storv of thv woes ; 



10 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Told the keen insult of the unfeeling heart ; 
The dread dependence on the low-born mind ; 
Told every pang, with which thy soul must smart, 
Neglect, and grinning Scorn, and Want combined ! 
Recoiling quick, thou bad st the friend of pain 
Roll the black tide of Death through every freez 
ing vein ! 

O Spirit blest ! 

Whether the Eternal s throne around, 
Amidst the blaze of Seraphim, 
Thou pourest forth the grateful hymn ; 
Or soaring thro the blest domain 
Enrapturest Angels with thy strain, 
Grant me, like thee, the lyre to sound, 
Like thee with fire divine to glow ; 
But ah ! when rage the waves of woe, 
Grant me with firmer breast to meet their hate, 
And soar beyond the storm with upright eye elate ! 

Ye woods ! that wave o er Avon s rocky steep, 
To Fancy s ear sweet is your murmuring deep ! 
For here she loves the cypress wreath to weave 
Watching, with wistful eye, the saddening tints of 

eve. 

Here, far from men, amid this pathless grove, 
In solemn thought the Minstrel wont to rove, 
Like star-beam on the slow sequestered tide 
Lone-glittering, through the high tree branching 

wide. 






JUVENILE POEMS. 11 

And here, in Inspiration s eager hour, 
-When most the big soul feels the mastering- power, - 
These wilds, these caverns roaming o er, 
Round which the screaming sea-gulls soar, 
With wild unequal steps he passed along, 
Oft pouring on the winds a broken song : 
Anon, upon some rough rock s fearful brow 
Would pause abrupt and gaze upon the waves 
below. 

Poor Chatterton ! he sorrows for thy fate 
Who would have praised and loved thee, ere too late. 
Poor Chatterton ! farewell ! of darkest hues 
This chaplet cast I on thy unshaped tomb ; 
But dare no longer on the sad theme muse, 
Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred doom : 
For oh ! big gall-drops, shook from Folly s wing, 
Have blackened the fair promise of my; spring ; 
And the stern Fate transpierced with viewless dart 
-The last pale Hope that shivered at my heart ! 

Hence, gloomy thoughts ! no more my soul shall 

dwell 

On joys that were ! No more endure to weigh 
The shame and anguish of the evil day, 
(Wisely forgetful ! O er the ocean swell 
Sublime of Hope I seek the cottaged dell 
Where Virtue calm with careless step may stray; 
And, dancing to the moon-light roundelay, 
The wizard passions weave a holy spell ! 



12 JUVENILE POEMS. 

O Chatterton ! that thou wert yet alive ! 
Sure thou weuld st spread the canvass to the gale, 
And love with us the tinkling 1 team to drive 
O er peaceful Freedom s undivided dale ; 
And we, at sober eve, would round thee throng, 
Would hang, enraptured, on thy stately song, 
And greet with smiles the young-eyed Poesy 
AH deftly masked, as hoar Antiquity. 
Alas, vain Phantasies ! the fleeting brood 
Of Woe self-solaced in her dreamy mood ! 
Yet will I love to follow the sweet dream, 
Where Susquehana pours his untamed stream ; 
/And on some hill, whose forest- frowning side"N 
Waves o er the murmurs of his calmer tide, J 
Will raise a solemn Cenotaph to thee, 
Sweet Harper of time-shrouded Minstrelsy ! 
And there, soothed sadly by the dirgeful wind, 
Muse on the sore ills I had left behind. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 1 



3 



SONGS OF THE PIXIES. 

THE PIXIES, in the superstition of Devonshire, are a race 
of beings invisibly small, and harmless or friendly to man. 
At a small distance from a village in that county, half way 
up a wood-covered hill, is an excavation called the Pixies 
Parlour. The roots of old trees form its ceiling ; and on 
its sides are innumerable cyphers, among which the author 
discovered his own and those of his brothers, cut by the 
hand of their childhood. At the foot of the hill flows the 
river Otter. 

To this place the Author, during the Summer months of 
the year 1 793, conducted a party of young ladies ; one of 
whom, of stature elegantly small, and of complexion 
colourless yet clear, was proclaimed the Faery Queen. On 
which occasion the following Irregular Ode was written. 

I. 

WHOM the untaught Shepherds -call 

Pixies in their madrigal, 
Fancy s children, here we dwell : 

Welcome, Ladies ! to our cell. 
Here the wren of softest note 

Builds its nest and warbles well ; 
Here the blackbird strains his throat ; 

Welcome, Ladies ! to our cell. 

ii. 

< When fades the moon to shadowy-pale, 
I And scuds the cloud before the gale, 
Ere the Morn, all o- e m-bedie;ht, 

O O 7 



14 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Hath streak d the East with rosy light, 
We sip the furze-flower s fragrant dews 
Clad in robes of rainbow hues : 
Or sport amid the shooting gleams 
To the tune of distant- tinkling teams, 
While lusty Labour scouting sorrow 
Bids the Dame a glad good-morrow, 
Who jogs the accustomed road along, 
And paces cheery to her cheering song. 

in. 

But not our filmy pinion 
We scorch amid the blaze of day, 
When Noontide s fiery-tressed minion 

Flashes the fervid ray. 
Aye from the sultry heat 
We to the cave retreat 
O ercanopied by huge roots intertwined 
With wildest texture, blackened o er with age : 
Round them their mantle green the ivies bind, 
Beneath whose foliage pale 
Fanned by the unfrequent gale 
We shield us from the Tyrant s mid-day rage. 

IV. 

Thither, while the murmuring throng 
Of wild-bees hum their drowsy song, 
By Indolence and Fancy brought, 
A youthful Bard, " unknown to Fame," 
Wooes the Queen of Solemn Thought, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 15 

And heaves the gentle misery of a sigh 

Gazing with tearful eye, 
As round our sandy grot appear 
Many a rudely sculptured name 
To pensive Memory dear ! 
Weaving gay dreams of sunny-tinctured hue 

We glance before his view : 
O er his hush d soul our soothing witcheries shed 
And twine the future garland round his head. 

v. 

When Evening s dusky car 

Crowned with her dewy star 
Steals o er the fading sky in shadowy flight ; , 

On leaves of aspen trees 

We tremble to the breeze 
Veiled from the grosser ken of mortal sight. 

Or, haply, at the visionary hour, 
Along our wildly-bowered sequestered walk, 
We listen to the enamoured rustic s talk ; 
Heave with the heavings of the maiden s breast, 
Where young-eyed Loves have hid their turtle nest ; 

Or guide of soul-subduing power 
The glance, that from the half-confessing eye 
Darts the fond question or the soft reply. 

VI. 

Or through the mystic ringlets of the vale 
We flash our faery feet in gamesome prank ; 
Or, silent-sandal d, pay our defter court, 



16 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Circling- the Spirit of the Western Gale, 
Where*wearied with his flower-caressing- sport, 
Supine he slumbers on a violet bank ; 
Then with quaint music hymn the parting 1 gleam 
By lonely Otter s sleep-persuading- stream ; 
Or where his wave with loud unquiet song- 
Dashed o er the rocky channel froths along- ; 
Or where, his silver waters smoothed to rest, 
The tall tree s shadow sleeps upon his breast. 

VII. 

Hence thou lingerer, Light ! 
Eve saddens into Night. 
Mother of wildly-working dreams ! we view 

t\, 

The sombre hours, that round thee stand 
With down-cast eyes (a duteous band) ! 
Their dark robes dripping with the heavy dew. 
Sorceress of the ebon throne ! 
Thy power the Pixies own, 
When round thy raven brow r 
Heaven s lucent roses glow, 
And clouds in watery colours drest 
Float in light drapery o er thy sable vest : 
What time the pale moon sheds a softer day 
Mellowing the woods beneath its pensive beam : 
For mid the quivering light tis ours to play,. 
Aye dancing to the cadence of the stream. - 

VIII. 

Welcome, Ladies ! to the cell 
Where the blameless Pixies dwell : 



JUVENILE POEMS. 17 

But them, sweet Nymph ! proclaimed our Faery 

Queen, 

With what obeisance meet 
Thy presence shall we greet ? 
For lo ! attendant on thy steps are seen 
Graceful Ease in artless stole, 
And white-robed Purity of soul, 

With Honour s softer mien ; 
Mirth of the loosely-flowing hair, 
And meek-eyed Pity eloquently fair, 

Whose tearful cheeks are lovely to the view, 
As snow-drop wet with dew. 

IX. 

Unboastful Maid ! though now the Lily pale 

Transparent grace thy beauties meek ; 
Yet ere again along the impurpling vale, 
The purpling vale and elfin-haunted grove, 
Young Zephyr his fresh flowers profusely throws. 

We ll tinge with livelier hues thy cheek ; 
And, haply, from the nectar-breathing Rose 
Extract a Blush for Love ! 






VOL. I. 



18 JUVENILE POEMS. 



THE RAVEN. 

A CHRISTMAS TALE, TOLD BY A SCHOOL-BOY TO HIS 
LITTLE BROTHERS AND SISTERS. 

UNDERNEATH an old oak tree 

There was of swine a huge company 

That grunted as they crunched the mast : 

For that was ripe, and fell full fast. 

Then they trotted away, for the wind grew high : 

One acorn they left, and no more might you spy. 

Next came a Raven, that liked not such folly : 

He belonged, they did say, to the witch Melancholy ! 

Blacker was he than blackest jet, 

Flew low in the rain, and his feathers not wet. 

He picked up the acorn and buried it straight 

By the side of a river both deep and great. 
Where then did the Raven go ? 
He went high and low, 

Over hill, over dale, did the black Raven go. 
Many Autumns, many Springs 
Travelled he with wandering wings : 
Many Summers, many Winters 
1 can t tell half his adventures. 

At length he came back, and with him a She, 
And the acorn was grown to a tall oak tree. 
They built them a nest in the topmost bough, 
And young ones they had. and were happy enow 



JUVENILE rOEMS. 19 

But soon came a woodman in leathern guise, 
His brow, like a pent-house, hung over his eyes. 
He d an axe in his hand, not a word he spoke, 
But with many a hem ! and a sturdy stroke, 
At length he brought down the poor Raven sown oak. 
His young ones were killed ; for they could not 

depart, 

And their mother did die of a broken heart. 
The boughs from the trunk the woodman did sever ; 
And they floated it down on the course of the river. 
They sawed it in planks, and its bark they did strip, 
And with this tree and others they made a good ship. 
The ship, it was launched; but in sight of the land 
Such a storm there did rise as no ship could withstand . 
It bulged on a rock, and the waves rushed in fast : 
Round and round flew the Raven, and cawed to 

the blast. 

He heard the last shriek of the perishing souls 
See ! See ! o er the topmast the mad water rolls ! 

Right glad was the Raven, and off he went fleet, 
And Death riding home on a cloud he did meet, 
And he thank d him again and again for this treat : 

They had taken his all, and Revenge it was sweet ! 



20 JUVENILE POEMS. 



MUSIC. 

HENCE, soul-dissolving Harmony 

That lead st th oblivious soul astray 
Though thou sphere descended be 

Hence away ! 
Thou mightier Goddess, thou demand st my lay, 

Born when earth was seiz d with cholic ; 
Or as more sapient sages say, 
What time the Legion diabolic 

Compelled their beings to enshrine 
In bodies vile of herded swine, 
Precipitate adown the steep 
With hideous rout were plunging in the deep , 
And hog and devil mingling grunt and yell 

Seiz d on the ear with horrible obtrusion ; 
Then if aright old legendaries tell, 

Wert thou begot by Discord on Confusion ! 

What tho no name s sonorous power 
Was given thee at thy natal hour ! 
Yet oft I feel thy sacred might, 
While concords wing their distant flight. 
Such power inspires thy holy son 

Sable clerk of Tiverton. 
And oft where Otter sports his stream, 
I hear thy banded offspring scream. 
Thou Goddess ! thou inspir st each throat ; 
Tis thou who pour st the scritch owl note ! 



JUVENILE POEMS, 21 

Transported hear st thy children all 
Scrape and blow and squeak and squall, 
And while old Otter s steeple rings, 
Clappest hoarse thy raven wings ! 

1790. 



DEVONSHIRE ROADS. 

THE indignant Bard composed this furious ode, 
As tir d he dragg d his way thro Plimtree road ! 
Crusted with filth and stuck in mire 
Dull sounds the Bard s bemudded lyre ; 
Nathless Revenge and Ire the Poet goad 
To pour his imprecations on the road. 
Curst road ! whose execrable way 
Was darkly shadow d out in Milton s lay, 
When the sad fiends thro Hell s sulphureous roads 
Took the first survey of their new abodes ; 
Or when the fall n Archangel fierce 
Dar d through the realms of Night to pierce. 
What time the Blood Hound lur d by Human scent 
Thro all Confusion s quagmires floundering went. 

Nor cheering pipe, nor Bird s shrill note 
Around thy dreary paths shall float; 
Their boding songs shall scritch owls pour 
To fright the guilty shepherds sore, 
Led by the wandering fires astray 
Thro the dank horrors of thy way ! 



22 JUVENILE POEMS. 

While they their mud-lost sandals hunt 
May all the curses, which they grunt 
In raging moan like goaded hog, 
Alight upon thee, damned Bog ! 



INSIDE THE COACH. 

Tis hard on Bagshot Heath to try 

Unclos d to keep the weary eye ; 

But ah ! Oblivion s nod to get 

In rattling coach is harder yet. 
Slumbrous God of half shut eye ! 

Who lov st with Limbs supine to lie ; 
Soother sweet of toil and care 

Listen, listen to my prayer ; 
And to thy votary dispense 

Thy soporific influence ! 
What tho around thy drowsy head 

The seven-fold cap of night be spread, 
Yet lift that drowsy head awhile 

And yawn propitiously a smile ; 
In drizzly rains poppean dews 

O er the tir d inmates of the Coach diffuse ; 
And when thou st charm d our eyes to rest 

Pillowing the chin upon the breast, 
Bid many a dream from thy dominions 

Wave its various-painted pinions, 
Till ere the splendid visions close 



JUVENILE POEMS. 23 

We snore quartettes in extacy of nose. 

While thus we urge our airy course, 

Oh may no jolt s electric force 

Our fancies from their steeds unhorse, 
And call us from thy fairy reign 
To dreary Bagshot Heath again ! 

1790. 



If Pegasus will let thee only ride him, 
Spurning my clumsy efforts to o erstride him, 
Some fresh expedient the Muse will try, 
And walk on stilts, although she cannot fly. 

DEAR BROTHER, 

I HAVE often been surprised that Mathematics, 
the quintessence of Truth, should have found 
admirers so few and so languid. Frequent con 
sideration and minute scrutiny have at length un 
ravelled the case ; viz. that though Reason is 
feasted, Imagination is starved ; whilst Reason is 
luxuriating in its proper Paradise, Imagination is 
wearily travelling on a dreary desart. To assist 
Reason by the stimulus of Imagination is the de 
sign of the following production. In the execu 
tion of it much may be objectionable. The verse 
(particularly in the introduction of the ode) may 
be accused of unwarrantable liberties, but they 
are liberties equally homo^eneal with the exact- 

l w 

ness of Mathematical disquisition, and the bold 
ness of Pindaric daring. I have three strong 



24 JUVENILE POEMS. 

champions to defend me against the attacks of 
Criticism ; the Novelty, the Difficulty, and the 
Utility of the work. I may justly plume myself, 
that I first have drawn the nymph Mathesis from 
the visionary caves of abstracted Idea, and caused 
her to unite with Harmony. The first-born of 
this Union I now present to you ; with interested 
motives indeed as I expect to receive in return 
the more valuable offspring of your Muse. 

March 31, 1791. Thine ever, 

To the Rev. G. C. c T o 

O. 1 . \s, 

This is now this was erst, 
Proposition the first and Problem the first. 

i. 

ON a given finite line 
Which must no way incline ; 
To describe an equi 
lateral Tri 
A, N, G, E, L, E. 

Now let A. B. 
Be the given line 
Which must no way incline ; 
The great Mathematician 
Makes this Requisition, 

That we describe an Equi 
lateral Tri 
angle on it : 
Aid us Reason aid us Wit ! 



JUVENILE POEMS. "j 

II. 

From the centre A. at the distance A. B. 

Describe the circle B. C. D. 
At the distance B. A. from B. the centre 
The round A. C. E. to describe boldly venture. 

(Third postulate see.) 
And from the point C. 
In which the circles make a pother 
Cutting and slashing one another, 

Bid the straight lines a journeying 1 go. 
C. A. C. B. those lines will show 

To the points, which by A. B. are reckoned, 
And postulate the second 
For Authority ye know. 

A. B. C. 

Triumphant shall be 
An Equilateral Triangle, 
Not Peter Pindar carp, nor Zoilus can wrangle. 

in. 

Because the point A. is the centre 

Of the circular B. C. D. 
And because the point B. is the centre 

Of the circular A. C. E. 
A. C. to A. B. and B. C. to B. A. 
Harmoniously equal for ever must stay ; 

Then C. A. and B. C. 
Both extend the kind hand 

To the basis A. B, 



26 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Unambitiously join d in Equality s Band. 
But to the same powers, when two powers are equal, 

My mind forebodes the sequel ; 
My mind does some celestial impulse teach, 

And equalizes each to each. 
Thus C. A. with B. C. strikes the same sure al 
liance, 

That C. A. and B. C. had with A. B. before ; 
And in mutual affiance 
None attempting to soar 

Above another, 
The unanimous three 
. C. A. and B. C. and A. B. 
All are equal, each to his brother, 

Preserving the balance of power so true : 
Ah ! the like would the proud Autocratix 1 do ! 
At taxes impending not Britain would tremble, 
Nor Prussia struggle her fear to dissemble ; 
Nor the Mah met-sprung wight 
The great Mussulman 
Would stain his Divan 
With Urine the soft-flowing daughter of Fright. 

IV. 

But rein your stallion in, too daring Nine ! 

Should Empires bloat the scientific line ? 
Or with dishevell d hair all madly do ye run 

For transport that your task is done ? 

1 Empress of Russia. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 

For done it is the cause is tried ! 
And Proposition, gentle maid, 
Who soothly ask d stern Demonstration s aid, 
Has prov d her right, and A. B. C. 

Of Angles three 
Is shown to be of equal side ; 
And now our weary steed to rest in fine, 
Tis raised upon A. B. the straight, the given line. 



THE NOSE 

YE souls unus d to lofty verse, 

Who sweep the earth with lowly wing, 

Like sand before the blast disperse 

A Nose ! a mighty Nose I sing ! 
As erst Prometheus stole from heaven the fire 

To animate the wonder of his hand ; 
Thus with unhallow d hands, O muse, aspire, 

And from my subject snatch a burning brand ! 
So like the Nose I sing my verse shall glow 
Like Phlegethon my verse in waves of fire shall flow ! 

Light of this once all darksome spot 

Where now their glad course mortals run, 

First-born of Sirius begot 

Upon the focus of the sun 
I ll call thee ! for such thy earthly name 

What name so high, but what too low must be? 



28 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Comets, when most they drink the solar flame 

Are but foint types and images of thee ! 
Burn madly Fire ! o er earth in ravage run, 

Then blush for shame more red by fiercer 

outdone ! 

I saw when from the turtle feast 

The thick dark smoke in volumes rose ! 

I saw the darkness of the mist 

Encircle thee, O Nose ! 
Shorn of thy rays thou shott st a fearful gleam 

(The turtle quiver d with prophetic fright) 
Gloomy and sullen thro the night of steam : 

So Satan s Nose when Dunstan urg d to flight, 
Glowing from gripe of red hot pincers dread 
Athwart the smokes of Hell disastrous twilight shed ! 

The furies to madness my brain devote 

In robes of ice my body wrap ! 
On billowy flames of fire I float, 



Hear ye, my entrails how they snap ? 
Some power unst en forbids my lungs to breathe ! 
What fire-clad meteors round me whizzing fly ! 
I vitrify thy torrid zone beneath 

Proboscis fierce ! I am calcin d ! I die ! 
Thus, like great Pliny, in Vesuvius fire, 

I perish in the blaze while I the blaze admire. 

1789. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 29 



MONODY ON A TEA-KETTLE. 

MUSE who sangest late another s pain, 

To griefs domestic turn thy coal-black steed ! 
With slowest steps thy funeral steed must go, 
Nodding his head in all the pomp of woe : 
Wide scatter round each dark and deadly weed, 
And let the melancholy dirge complain, [run) 
(While Bats shall shriek and Dogs shall howling 
The tea-kettle is spoilt and Coleridge is undone ! 
Your cheerful songs, ye unseen crickets cease ! 
Let songs of grief your alter d minds engage ! 
For he who sang responsive to your lay, 
What time the joyous bubbles gan to play, 
The sooty swain has felt the fire s fierce rage; 
Yes he is gone, and all my woes increase ; 

1 heard the Water issuing from the Wound 
No more the Tea shall pour its flagrant steams 

around ! 

O Goddess best beloved, delightful Tea ! [vine ? 

With thee compar d what yields the madd ning 

Sweet power ! who know st to spread the calm 
delight, 

And the pure joy prolong to midmost night ! 

Ah ! must I all thy varied sweets resign ? 

Enfolded close in grief thy form I see 
No more wilt thou extend thy willing- arms, 
Receive the fervent Jove and yield him all thy 
charms i 



30 JUVENILE POEMS. 

How sink the mighty low by Fate opprest ! 
Perhaps O Kettle ! thou by scornful toe 
Rude urg d t ignoble place with plaintive din, 
May st rust obscure midst heaps of vulgar tin ; 
As if no joy had ever seiz d my breast [fly, 
When from thy spout the streams did arching 
As if infus d thou ne er hadst known t inspire 
All the warm raptures of poetic fire ! 
But hark ! or do I fancy the glad voice 

m/ O 

" What tho the swain did wondrous charms dis 
close 

(Not such did Memnon s sister sable drest) 
Take these bright arms with royal face imprest, 
A better Kettle shall thy soul rejoice, 
And with Oblivion s wings o erspread thy woes !" 
Thus Fairy Hope can soothe distress and toil ; 
On empty Trivets she bids fancied Kettles boil ! 

1790. 



ABSENCE. 

A FAREWELL ODE OX QUITTING SCHOOL FOR JESUS 
COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. 

WHERE graced with many a classic spoil 
Cam rolls his reverend stream along, 
1 haste to urge the learned toil 
That sternlv chides my love-lorn songr : 

tf * O 

Ah me ! too mindful of the days 
Illumed by Passion s orient rays, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 31 

When peace, and Cheerfulness, and Health 
Enriched me with the best of wealth. 

Ah fair Delights ! that o er my soul 
On Memory s wing, like shadows fly ! 
Ah Flowers ! which Joy from Eden stole 
While Innocence stood smiling by ! 
But cease, fond Heart ! this bootless moan : 
Those Hours on rapid Pinions flown 
Shall yet return, by Absence crowned, 
And scatter livelier roses round. 
The Sun who ne er remits his fires 
On heedless eyes may pour the day : 
The Moon, that oft from Heaven retires, 
Endears her renovated ray. 
What though she leave the sky unblest 
To mourn awhile in murky vest ? 
When she relumes her lovely Light, 
We bless the Wanderer of the Night. 



SONNET. 

ON THE SAME. 

FAREWELL parental scenes ! a sad farewell ! 
To you my grateful heart still fondly clings, 
Tho fluttering round on Fancy s burnish d wings 
Her tales of future Joy Hope loves to tell. 
Adieu, adieu ! ye much lov d cloisters pale ! 



JUVENILE POEMS. 

All ! would those happy days return again. 
When neath your arches, free from every stain, 
I heard of guilt and wonder d at the tale ! 
Dear haunts ! where oft my simple lays I sang, 
Listening meanwhile the echoings of my feet, 
Lingering I quit you, with as great a pang, 
As when ere while, my weeping childhood, torn 
By early sorrow from my native seat, 
Mingled its tears with hers my widow d Parent 
lorn. 



TO THE MUSE. 

THO no bold nights to thee belong; 

And tho thy lays with conscious fear, 

Shrink from Judgment s eye severe, 

Yet much I thank thee, Spirit of my song! 

For, lovely Muse ! thy sweet employ 

Exalts my soul, refines my breast, 

Gives each pure pleasure keener zest, 

And softens sorrow into pensive Joy. 

From thee I learn d the wish to bless, 

From thee to commune with my heart ; 

From thee, dear Muse ! the gayer part, 

To laugh with Pity at the crowds, that press 

Where Fashion flaunts her robes by Folly spun, 

Whose hues gay varying wanton in the sun. 

1789. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



33 



WITH FIELDING S AMELIA. 

VIRTUES and Woes alike too great for man 

In the soft tale oft claim the useless sigh ; 
For vain the attempt to realize the plan, 

On folly s wings must imitation fly. 
With other aim has Fielding here display d 

Each social duty and each social care ; 
With just yet vivid coloring portray d 

What every wife should be, what many are 
And sure the Parent of a race so sweet 
With double pleasure on the page shall dwell, 
Each scene with sympathizing breast shall meet, 
While Reason still with smiles delights to tell 
Maternal hope, that her lov d Progeny 
In all but Sorrows shall Amelias be ! 



ON RECEIVING AN ACCOUNT 
THAT HIS ONLY SISTEIt s DEATH WAS INEVITABLE. 

THE tearwhich mourn d a brother s fate scarce dry 
Pain after pain, and woe succeeding woe 
Is my heart destin d for another blow ? 
O my sweet sister ! and must thou too die ? 
Ah ! how has Disappointment pour d the tear 
O er infant Hope destroy d by early frost ! 
VOL. i. r> 



34 JUVENILE POEMS. 

How are ye gone, whom most my soul held dear ! 
Scarce had f lov d you, ere I mourn d you lost ; 
Say, is this hollow eye this heartless pain 
Fated to rove thro Life s wide cheerless plain 
Nor father, brother, sister meets its ken 
My woes, my joys unshar d ! Ah ! long ere then 
On me thy icy dart, stern Death, be prov d ; 
Better to die, than live and not be lov d ! 



ON SEEING A YOUTH 

AFFECTIONATELY WELCOMED BY A SISTER. 

I TOO a sister had ! too cruel Death ! 
How sad remembrance bids my bosom heave ! 
Tranquil her soul, as sleeping Infant s breath ; 
Meek were her manners as a vernal Eve. 
Knowledge, that frequent lifts the bloated mind, 
Gave her the treasure of a lowly breast, 
And Wit to venom d Malice oft assign d, 
Dwelt in her bosom in a Turtle s nest. 
Cease, busy Memory ! cease to urge the dart ; 
Nor on my soul her love to me impress ! 
For oh I mourn in anguish and my heart 
Feels the keen pang, th unutterable distress. 
Yet wherefore grieve I that her sorrows cease, 
For Life was misery, and the Grave is Peace ! 



JUVENILE POEMS. 35 



THE SAME. 

I TOO a sister had, an only sister; 

She lov d me dearly and I doted on her ; 

To her I pour d forth all my puny sorrows, 

(As a sick patient in a nurse s arms) 

And of the heart those hidden maladies 

That e en from Friendship s eye will shrink asharn d. 

O i I have wak d at midnight and have wept 

Because she was not. 



PAIN. 

ONCE could the Morn s first beams, the healthful 

breeze, 

All nature charm, and gay was every hour : 
But ah ! not Music s self, nor fragrant bower 
Can glad the trembling sense of wan disease. 
Now that the frequent pangs my frame assail, 
Now that my sleepless eyes are sunk and dim, 
And seas of pain seem waving through each limb 
Ah what can all Life s gilded scenes avail? 
I view the crowd, whom youth and health inspire, 
Hear the loud laugh, and catch the sportive lay, 
Then sigh and think I too could laugh and play 
And gaily sport it on the Muse s lyre, 
Ere Tyrant Pain had chas d away delight, 
Ere the wild pulse throbb d anguish thro the night 



36 JUVENILE POEMS. 



LIFE. 

As late I journied o er the extensive plain 
Where native Otter sports his scanty stream, 

Musing- in torpid woe a sister s pain, 

The glorious prospect woke me from the dream. 

At every step it widen d to my sight, 

Wood, Meadow, verdant Hill, and dreary Steep. 
Following- in quick succession of delight, 

Till all at once did my eye ravish d sweep ! 

May this (I cried) my course through Life portray ! 
New scenes of wisdom may each step display, 

And knowledge open as my days advance ! 
Till what time Death shall pour the undarken d ray, 

My eye shall dart thro infinite expanse, 
And thought suspended lie in rapture s blissful 
Trance. 



LINES ON AN AUTUMNAL EVENING. 

O THOU w r ild Fancy, check thy wing ! No more 
Those thin white flakes, those purple clouds explore ! 
Nor there with happy spirits speed thy flight 
Bathed in rich amber-glowing floods of light ; 



JUVENILE POEMS. 37 

Nor in yon gleam, where slow descends the day, 
With western peasants hail the morning- ray ! 
Ah ! rather bid the perished pleasures move, 
A shadowy train, across the soul of Love ! 
O er Disappointment s wintry desert fling 
Each flower that wreathed the dewy locks of Spring, 
When blushing, like a bride, from Hope s trim bovver 
She leapt, awakened by the pattering shower. 
Now sheds the sinking Sun a deeper gleam, 
Aid, lovely Sorceress ! aid thy Poet s dream ! 
With faery wand O bid the Maid arise, 
Chaste Joyance dancing in her bright-blue eyes ; 
As erst when from the Muses calm abode 
I came, with Learning s meed not unbesto\ved ; 
When as she twined a laurel round my brow, 
And met my kiss, and half returned my vow, 
O er all my frame shot rapid my thrilled heart, 
And every nerve confessed the electric dart. 

dear Deceit ! I see the Maiden rise, 

Chaste Joyance dancing in her bright-blue eyes ! 
When first the lark high soaring swells his throat, 
Mocks the tired eye, and scatters the loud note, 

1 trace her footsteps on the accustomed lawn, 
I mark her glancing mid the gleam of dawn. 
When the bent flower beneath the night dew weeps 
And on the lake the silver lustre sleeps, 

Amid the paly radiance soft and sad, 

She meets my lonely path in moon-beams clad. 

With her along the streamlet s brink I rove ; 



38 JUVENILE POEMS. 

With her I list the warblings of the grove ; 
And seems in each low wind her voice to float, 
Lone whispering 1 Pity in each soothing- note ! 

Spirits of Love ! ye heard her name ! Obey 
The powerful spell, and to my haunt repair. 
Whether on clustering pinions ye are there, 
Where rich snows blossom on the Myrtle trees, 
Or with fond languishment around my fair 
Sigh in the loose luxuriance of her hair ; 
O heed the spell, and hither wing your way, 
Like far-off music, voyaging the breeze! 

Spirits ! to you the infant Maid was given 
Formed by the wonderous Alchemy of Heaven ! 
No fairer Maid does Love s wide empire know, 
No fairer Maid e er heaved the bosom s snow. 
A thousand Loves around her forehead fly ; 
A thousand Loves sit melting in her eye ; 
Love lights her smile in Joy s red nectar dips 
His myrtle flower, and plants it on her lips. 
She speaks! and hark that passion- warbled song 
Still, Fancy! still that voice, those notes prolong. 
As sweet as when that voice with rapturous falls 
Shall wake the softened echoes of Heaven s Halls ! 

O (have I sighed) were mine the wizard s rod, 
Or mine the power of Proteus, changeful God ! 
A flower-entangled Arbour I would seem 
To shield my Love from Noontide s sultry beam : 



JUVENILE POEMS. 39 

Or bloom a Myrtle, from, whose odorous boughs 
My Love might weave gay garlands for her brows. 
When Twilight stole across the fading vale, 
To fan my Love I d be the Evening Gale ; 
Mourn in the soft folds of her swelling vest, 
And flutter my faint pinions on her breast ! 
On Seraph wing I d float a Dream by night, 
To soothe my Love with shadows of delight : 
Or soar aloft to be the Spangled Skies, 
And gaze upon her with a thousand eyes ! 

As when the savage, who his drowsy frame 
Had basked beneath the Sun s unclouded flame, 
Awakes amid the troubles of the air, 
The skiey deluge, and white lightning s glare 
Aghast he scours before the tempest s sweep, 
And sad recalls the sunny hour of sleep : 
So tossed by storms along Life s wildering way, 
Mine eye reverted views that cloudless day, 
When by my native brook I wont to rove, 
While Hope with kisses nursed the Infant Love. 

Dear native brook ! like Peace, so placidly 
Smoothing through fertile fields thy current meek ! 
Dear native brook ! where first young Poesy 
Stared wildly-eager in her noontide dream! 
Where blameless pleasures dimple Quiet s cheek, 
As water-lilies ripple thy slow stream ! 
Dear native haunts ! where Virtue still is gay, 
Where Friendship s fix d star sheds a mellowed ray, 



40 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Where Love a crown of thornless Roses wears, 
Where softened Sorrow smiles within her tears ; 
And Memory, with a Vestal s chaste employ, 
Unceasing; feeds the lambent flame of joy ! 
No more your sky-larks melting from the sight 
Shall thrill the attuned heart-string with delight 
No more shall deck your pensive Pleasures sweet 
With wreaths of sober hue my evening seat. 
Yet dear to Fancy s eye your varied scene 
Of wood, hill, dale, and sparkling brook between ! 
Yet sweet to Fancy s" ear the warbled song, 
That soars on Morning s wing your vales among. 



Scenes of my Hope ! the aching eye ye leave 
Like yon bright hues that paint the clouds of eve I 
Tearful and saddening with the saddened blaze 
Mine eye the gleam pursues with wistful gaze : 
Sees shades on shades with deeper tint impend, 
Till chill and damp the moonless night descend. 



THE ROSE. 

As late each flower that sweetest blows 
I plucked, the Garden s pride ! 
Within the petals of a Rose 
A sleeping Love I spied. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 41 

Around his brows a beamy wreath 
Of many a lucent hue ; 
All purple glowed his cheek, beneath, 
Inebriate with dew. 

I softly seized the unguarded Power, 
Nor scared his balmy rest : 
And placed him, caged within the flower, 
On spotless Sara s breast. 

But when unweeting of the guile 
Awoke the prisoner sweet, 
He struggled to escape awhile 
And stamped his faery feet. 

Ah ! soon the soul- entrancing sight 

Subdued the impatient boy ! 

He gazed ! he thrilled with deep delight ! 

Then clapped his wings for joy. 

" And O !" he cried " of magic kind 

What charms this Throne endear ! 

Some other Love let Venus find 

I ll fix my empire here." 



THE KISS. 

ONE kiss, dear maid ! I said and sighed- 
Your scorn the little boon denied. 
Ah why refuse the blameless bliss ? 
Can danger lurk within a kiss ? 



42 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Yon viewless Wanderer of the vale, 
The Spirit of the Western Gale, 
At Morning s break, at Evening s close 
Inhales the sweetness of the Ptose, 
And hovers o er the uninjured Bloom 
Sighing back the soft perfume. 
Vigour to the Zephyr s wing 
Her nectar-breathing Kisses fling ; 
And He the glitter of the Dew 
Scatters on the Rose s hue. 
Bashful lo ! she bends her head, 
And darts a blush of deeper Red ! 

Too well those lovely lips disclose 
The triumphs of the opening Rose ; 
O fair ! O graceful ! bid them prove 
As passive to the breath of Love. 
In tender accents, faint and low, 
Well-pleased I hear the whispered "No! 
The whispered " No" how little meant! 
Sweet Falsehood that endears Consent ! 
For on those lovely lips the while 
Dawns the soft relenting smile, 
And tempts with feigned dissuasion coy 
The gentle violence of Joy. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 43 



TO A YOUNG ASS. 
ITS MOTHER BEING TETHERED NEAR IT. 

POOR little Foal of an oppressed Race ! 
I love the languid Patience of thy face : 
And oft with gentle hand I give thee bread, 
And clap thy ragged Coat, and pat thy head. 
But what thy dulled Spirits hath dismayed, 
That never thou dost sport along the glade ? 
And (most unlike the nature of things young-) 
That earthward still thy moveless head is hung ? 
Do thy prophetic Fears anticipate, 
Meek Child of Misery ! thy future fate ? 
The starving meal, and all the thousand aches 
" Which patient Merit of the Unworthy takes?" 
Or is thy sad heart thrilled with filial pain 
To see thy wretched Mother s shortened Chain ? 
And, truly very piteous is her Lot 
Chained to a Log within a narrow spot, 
Where the close-eaten Grass is scarcely seen, 
While sweet around her weaves the tempting Green, 
Poor Ass ! thy master should have learnt to show 
Pity best taught by fellowship of Woe ! 
For much I fear me that He lives like thee, 
Half famished in a land of Luxury ! 
How askingly its footsteps hither bend, 
*.t seems to say, "And have I then one Friend?" 
Innocent Foal ! thou poor despised Forlorn ! 



44 JUVENILE POEMS. 

I hail thee Brother spite of the fool s scorn ! 
And fain would take thee with me, in the Dell 
Of Peace and mild Equality to dwell, 
Where Toil shall call the charmer Health his 

bride, 

And Laughter tickle Plenty s ribless side ! 
How thou wouldst toss thy heels in gamesome play, 
And frisk about, as lamb or kitten gay ! 
Yea ! and more musically sweet to me 
Thy dissonant harsh bray of joy would be, 
Than warbled melodies that soothe to rest 
The aching of pale Fashion s vacant breast ! 



HAPPINESS. 

Ox wide, or narrow scale shall Man 
Most happily describe life s plan ? 
Say, shall he bloom and wither there, 
Where first his infant buds appear ; 
Or upwards dart with soaring force, 
And tempt some more ambitious course ? 

Obedient now to Hope s command, 
I bid each humble wish expand, 
And fair and bright Life s prospects seem, 
While Hope displays her cheering beam, 
And Fancy s vivid colorings stream, 
While Emulation stands me nigh 
The Goddess of the eager eye. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 

With foot advanc d and anxious heart 
Now for the fancied goal I start : 
Ah ! why will Reason intervene 
Me and my promised joys between ! 
She stops my course, she chains my speed, 
While thus her forceful words proceed. 
" Ah ! listen, youth, ere yet too late, 
What evils on thy course may wait. ! 
To bow the head, to bend the knee 
A minion of Servility, 
At low Pride s frequent frowns to sigh, 
Ana watch the glance in Folly s eye ; 
To toil intense, yet toil in vain, 
And feel with what a hollow pain 
Pale Disappointment hangs her head 
O er darling Expectation dead ! 

" The scene is changed and Fortune s gale 
Shall belly out each prosperous sail. 
Yet sudden wealth full well I know 
Did never Happiness bestow. 
That wealth, to which we were not born 
Dooms us to sorrow or to scorn. 
Behold yon flock which long had trod 
O er the short grass of Devon s sod, 
To Lincoln s rank rich meads transferr d, 
And in their fate thy own be fear d ; 
Through every limb contagions fly, 
Deform d and chok d they burst and die. 

" When Luxury opens wide her arms, 
And smiling wooes thee to those charms, 



40 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Whose fascination thousands own, 
Shall thy brows wear the stoic frown ? 
And when her goblet she extends 
Which madd ning 1 myriads press around, 
What power divine thy soul befriends 
That thou shouldst dash it to the ground ? 
No, thou shalt drink, and thou shalt know 
Her transient bliss, her lasting woe, 
Her maniac joys, that know no measure, 
And riot rude and painted pleasure ; 
Till (sad reverse !) the Enchantress vile 

^f 

To frowns converts her magic smile ; 
Her train impatient to destroy, 
Observe her frown with gloomy joy ; 
On thee with harpy fangs they seize 
The hideous offspring of Disease, 
Swoll n Dropsy ignorant of Rest, 
And Fever garb d in scarlet vest, 
Consumption driving the quick hearse, 
And Gout that howls the frequent curse, 
With Apoplex of heavy head 
That surely aims his dart of lead. 

" But say, Life s joys unmix d were given 
To thee some favorite of Heaven : 
Within, without, tho all were health 
Yet what e en thus are Fame, Power, Wealth, 
But sounds that variously express, 
What s thine already Happiness ! 
Tis thine the converse deep to hold 
With all the famous sons of old ; 
And thine the happy waking dream 



JUVENILE POEMS. 47 

While Hope pursues some favorite theme, 
As oft when Night o er Heaven is spread, 
Round this maternal seat you tread, 
Where far from splendour, far from riot, 
In silence wrapt sleeps careless quiet. 
Tis thine with fancy oft to talk, 
And thine the peaceful evening- walk ; 
And what to thee the sweetest are 
The setting sun, the evening star 
The tints, which live along the sky, 
And[ Moon that meets thy raptur d eye, 
Where oft the tear shall grateful start, 
Dear silent pleasures of the Heart ! 
Ah ! Being blest, for Heaven shall lend 
To share thy simple joys a friend ! 
Ah ! doubly blest, if Love supply 
His influence to complete thy joy, 
If chance some lovely maid thou find 
To read thy visage in thy mind. 

" One blessing more demands thy care : 
Once more to Heaven address the prayer : 
For humble independence pray 
The guardian genius of thy way ; 
Whom (sages say) in days of yore 
Meek competence to wisdom bore, 
So shall thy little vessel glide 
With a fair breeze adown the tide, 
And Hope, if e er thou ginst to sorrow 
Remind thee of some fair to-morrow, 
Till death shall close thy tranquil eye 
While Faith proclaims " thou shalt not di* ." 



4S JUVENILE POEMS. 



DOMESTIC PEACE. 

TELL me, on what holy ground 
May Domestic Peace be found 
Halcyon Daughter of the skies ! 
Far on fearful wings she flies. 
From the pomp of sceptered State, 
From the Rebel s noisy hate, 

/ 

In a cottaged vale She dwells 
/ Listening to the Sabbath bells ! 
Still around her steps are seen 
Spotless Honour s meeker mien, 
Love, the sire of pleasing fears, 
Sorrow smiling through her tears, 
And conscious of the past employ 
Memory, bosom-spring of joy. 



THE SIGH. 

WHEN Youth his faery reign began 
Ere sorrow had proclaimed me man ; 
While Peace the present hour beguiled, 
And all the lovely Prospect smiled ; 
Then Mary ! mid my lightsome glee 
I heav d the painless Sigh for thee. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 49 

And when, along the waves of woe, 
My harassed Heart was doomed to know 
The frantic burst of Outrage keen, 
And the slow Pang that gnaws unseen ; 
Then shipwrecked on Life s stormy sea 
I heaved an anguished Sigh for thee ! 

But soon Reflection s power imprest 
A stiller sadness on my breast ; 
And sickly hope with waning eye 
Was well content to droop and die : 
I yielded to the stern decree, 
Yet heaved a languid Sigh for thee ! 

And though in distant climes to roam, 
A wanderer from my native home, 
I fain would soothe the sense of Care, 
And lull to sleep the Joys that were, 
Thy Image may not banished be 
Still, Mary ! still I sigh for thee. 

June, 1794. 



EPITAPH ON AN INFANT. 

ERE Sin could blight or Sorrow fade. 

Death came with friendly care ; 
The opening bud to Heaven conveyed, 

And bade it blossom there. 

VOL. I. E 



50 JUVENILE POEMS. 



ON IMITATION. 

- 

ALL are not born to soar and ah ! how few 

In tracks, where Wisdom leads, their paths pursue ! 

Contagious when to wit or wealth allied, 

Folly and Vice diffuse their venom wide. 

On Folly every fool his talent tries ; 

It asks some toil to imitate the wise ; 

Tho few like Fox can speak like Pitt can think 

Yet all like Fox can game like Pitt can drink. 



O, Curas hominum ! 0, quantum est in rebus inane . 

THE fervid Sun had more than halv d the day, 
When gloomy on his couch Philedon lay ; 
His feeble frame consumptive as his purse, 
His aching head did wine and women curse ; 
His fortune ruin d and his wealth decay d, 
Clamorous his Duns, his gaming debts unpaid, 
The youth indignant seiz d his tailor s bill, 
And on its back thus wrote with moral quill : 
" Various as colors in the rainbow shown, 
Or similar in emptiness alone, 
How false, how vain are Man s pursuits below ! 



JUVENILE POEMS. 51 

Wealth, Honor, Pleasure what can ye bestow ? 
Yet see, how high and low, and young and old 
Pursue the all delusive power of Gold. 
Fond man ! should all Peru thy empire own, 
For thee tho all Golconda s jewels shone, 
What greater bliss could all this wealth supply ? 
What, but to eat and drink and sleep and die ? 
Go, tempt the stormy sea, the burning soil 
Go, waste the night in thought, the day in toil, 
Dark frowns the rock, and fierce the tempests rave- 
Thy ingots go the unconscious deep to pave ! 
Or thunder at thy door the midnight train, 
Or death shall knock that never knocks in vain. 
Next Honor s sons come bustling on amain ; 
I laugh with pity at the idle train. 
Infirm of soul ! who think st to lift thy name 
Upon the waxen wings of human fame, 
Who for a sound, articulated breath 
Gazest undaunted in the face of death ! 
What art thou but a Meteor s glaring light 
Blazing a moment and then sunk in night ? 
Caprice which rais d thee high shall hurl thee low 
Or envy blast the laurels on thy brow. 
To such poor joys could ancient Honor lead 
When empty fame was toiling Merit s mead ; 
To Modern Honor other lays belong ; 
Profuse of joy and Lord of right and wrong, 
Honor can game, drink, riot in the stew, 
Cut a friend s throat ; what cannot Honor do ? 
Ah me the storm within can Honor still 



52 JUVENILE POEMS. 

For Julio s death, whom Honor made me kill ? 
Or will this lordly Honor tell the way 
To pay those debts, which Honor makes me pay ? 
Or if with pistol and terrific threats 
I make some traveller pay my Honor s debts, 
A med cine for this wound can Honor give ? 
Ah, no ! my Honor dies to make my Honor live.* 
But see ! young- Pleasure, and her train advance, 
And joy and laughter w r ake the inebriate dance ; 
Around my neck she throws her fair white arms, 
I meet her loves, and madden at her charms. 
For the gay grape can joys celestial move, 
And what so sweet below as Woman s love ? 
With such high transport every moment flies, 
I curse experience, that he makes me wise ; 
For at his frown the dear deliriums flew, 
And the chang d scene now wears a gloomy hue. 
A hideous hag th Enchantress Pleasure seems, 
And all her joys appear but feverous dreams. 
The vain Resolve still broken and still made, 
Disease and loathing and remorse invade ; 
The charm is vanish d and the bubble s broke, 
A slave to pleasure is a slave to smoke !" 
Such lays repentant did the Muse supply ; 
When as the Sun was hastening down the sky, 
In glittering state twice fifty guineas come. 
His Mother s plate antique had rais d the sum. 
Forth leap d Philedon of new life possest : 
Tvvas Brookes s all till two,- - twas Hackett s all 
the rest ! 



JUVENILE POEMS. 53 



PROGRESS OF VICE. 

DEEP in the gulph of Vice and Woe 
Leaps man at once with headlong throw ? 
Him inborn Truth and Virtue guide, 
Whose guards are shame and conscious pride ; 

In some gay hour Vice steals into the breast ; 

Perchance she wears some softer Virtue s vest. 

By unperceiv d degrees she tempts to stray, 
Till far from Virtue s path she leads the feet away. 

Then swift the soul to disenthrall 
Will Memory the past recall, 
And fear before the Victim s eyes 
Bid future ills and dangers rise. [bine 

But hark ! the voice, the lyre, their charms com- 
Gay sparkles in the cup the generous wine ; 
Th inebriate dance the fair frail nymph inspires, 
And Virtue vanquish d scorn d with hasty flight 
retires. 

But soon to tempt the pleasures cease ; 
Yet shame forbids return to peace, 
And stern necessity will force 
Still to urge on the desperate course. 
The drear black paths of Vice the wretch must try, 
Where Conscience flashes horror on each eye, 
Where Hate where Murder scowl where starts 

Affright ! 

Ah ! close the scene, ah ! close for dreadful is 
the sm-ht. 



JWLMLL POEMS. 



LINES 

WJMTTEJf A7 - A EMS, ROSS, FORMERLY 

THE "MAJT OF ROJ." 



CHER than Miser o er hi* counties hoard*, 
NoWer than King*, or king-diluted Lord*, 
Here dwelt the Man of ROM : O I <*, hear! 
Departed * * rcirerent t/ 

md to the friendleM, I *ick man health, 
rth generous joy he viewed his mode* t wealth ; 
He heard the widow * heaven-breathed pray / of 

*, 

He narked the Sheltered orphan*! t/.-^rful gaze, 
<; the forrow *brirelied !;i.y, 

rs ..- -, . ,./. i -.-,/. ,,o ,;; Ijrlfl r;>v. 

Beoea* *red momento pa**, 

; good man name one grateful gla : 
tier zeftfhail =-.oul, 

<^d howl. 
h MV- -.f ul Kcene 

I , . ;, : . .. . :. , ;, ":;.:,;< }..,) fl !,< .|j ; 

>//v;at v//t}( fj<:;t/f. |I 

in tjio 

nn-lt, 

dream of Goodne*; . batt /":/</ / : 



JUVENILE POEMS-. 55 



DESTRUCTION OF THE BASTILE. 

I. 

HEARD ST thou yon universal cry, 

And dost thou linger still on Gallia s shore ? 
Go, Tyranny! beneath some barbarous sky 
Thy terrors lost, and ruin d power deplore ! 
What tho through many a groaning age 
Was felt thy keen suspicious rage, 
Yet Freedom rous d by fierce Disdain 
Has wildly broke thy triple chain, 
And like the storm which earth s deep entrails hide, 
At length has burst its way and spread the ruins 
wide. 



* 



IV. 



In sighs their sickly breath was spent ; each gleam 
Of Hope had ceas d the long long day to cheer ; 

Or if delusive, in some flitting dream, 

It gave them to their friends and children dear 
Awak d by lordly Insult s sound 
To all the doubled horrors round, 
Oft shrunk they from Oppression s band 
While anguish rais d the desperate hand 

For silent death ; or lost the mind s control, /* 

Thro every burning vein would tides of Frenzy roll. 



56 JUVENILE POEMS. 

% V. 

But cease, ye pitying- bosoms, cease to bleed ! 

Such scenes no more demand the tear humane ; 
I see, I see ! glad Liberty succeed 

With every patriot virtue in her train ! 
And mark yon peasant s raptured eyes ; 
Secure he views his harvests rise ; 
No fetter vile the mind shall know, 
And Eloquence shall fearless glow. 
Yes ! Liberty the soul of Life shall reign, 
Shall throb in every pulse, shall flow thro every 
vein ! 

VI. 

Shall France alone a Despot spurn ? 

Shall she alone, O Freedom, boast thy care ? 

Lo, round thy standard Belgia s heroes burn, 
Tho Power s blood-stain d streamers fire the air, 
And wider yet thy influence spread, 
Nor e er recline thy weary head, 
Till every land from pole to pole 
Shall boast one independent soul ! 

And still, as erst, let favor d Britain be 

First ever of the first and freest of the free ! 



JUVENILE POEMS. 57 



LINES 

TO A BEAUTIFUL SPUING IN A VILLAGE. 

/ 

ONCEmore, sweet Stream! with slow foot wandering 
I bless thy milky waters cold and clear. [near, 
Escaped the flashing of the noontide hours, 
With one fresh garland of Pierian flowers 
(Ere from thy zephyr-haunted brink I turn) 
My languid hand shall wreath thy mossy urn. 
For not through pathless grove with murmur rude 
Thou soothest the sad wood-nymph, Solitude ; 
jNor thine unseen in cavern depths to well, 
The hermit-fountain of some dripping cell ! 
Pride of the Vale ! thy useful streams supply 
The scattered cots and peaceful hamlet nigh. 
The elfin tribe around thy friendly banks 
With infant uproar and soul-soothing pranks, 
Released from school, their little hearts at rest, 
Launch paper navies on thy waveless breast. 
The rustic here at eve with pensive look 
Whistling lorn ditties leans upon his crook, 
Or starting pauses with hope-mingled dread 
To list the much-loved maid s accustomed tread : 
She, vainly mindful of her dame s command, 
i Loiters, the long-filled pitcher in her hand. 

Unboastful Stream ! thy fount with pebbled falls 
The faded form of past delight recalls, 



58 JUVENILE POEMS. 

What time the morning 1 sun of Hope arose, 
And all was joy ; save when another s woes 
A transient gloom upon my soul imprest, 
Like passing clouds impictured on thy breast. 
Life s current then ran sparkling to the noon, 
Or silvery stole beneath the pensive Moon : 
Ah ! now it works rude brakes and thorns among 1 ; 
Or o er the rough rock bursts and foams along ! 



J 



LINES ON A FRIEND 

WHO DIED OF A FRENZY FEVER INDUCED BY 
CALUMNIOUS REPORTS. 

EDMUND ! thy grave with aching eye I scan, 

And inly groan for Heaven s poor outcast Man ! 

Tis tempest all or gloom : in early youth 

If gifted with the Ithuriel lance of Truth 

We force to start amid her feigned caress 

Vice, siren-hag ! in native ugliness ; 

A Brother s fate will haply rouse the tear, 

And on we go in heaviness and fear ! 

But if our fond hearts call to Pleasure s bower 

Some pigmy Folly in a careless hour, [ground, 

The faithless guest shall stamp the enchanted 

And mingled forms of Misery rise around : 

Heart-fretting Fear, with pallid look aghast, 

That courts the future woe to hide the past ; 

Remorse, the poisoned arrow in his side, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 59 

And loud lewd Mirth, to Anguish close allied : 
Till Frenzy, fierce-eyed child of moping pain, 
Darts her hot lightning-flash athwart the brain. 
Rest, injur d shade ! Shall Slander squatting near 
Spit her cold venom in a dead Man s ear? 
Twas thine to feel the sympathetic glow 
In Merit s joy, and Poverty s meek woe; 
Thine all, that cheer the moment as it flies, 
The zoneless Cares, and smiling Courtesies. 
Nursed in thy heart the firmer Virtues grew, 
And in thy heart they withered ! Such chill dew 
Wan Indolence on each young blossom 
And Vanity her filmy net-work spread, 
With eye that rolled around in asking gaze, 
And tongue that trafficked in the trade of praise. 
Thy follies such ! the hard world marked them well ! 
Were they more wise, the proud who never fell ? 
Rest, injured shade ! the poor man s grateful prayer 
On heaven-w r ard wing thy wounded soul shall bear. 
As oft at twilight gloom thy grave I pass, 
And sit me down upon its recent grass, 
With introverted eye I contemplate 
Similitude of soul, perhaps of fate ; 
To me hath Heaven with bounteous hand assigned 
Energic Reason and a shaping mind, 
The daring ken of Truth, the Patriot s part, 
And Pity s sigh, that breathes the gentle heart. 
Sloth-jaundiced all ! and from my graspless hand 
Drop Friendship s precious pearls, like hour-glass 
sand. 



60 JUVENILE POEMS. 

I weep, yet stoop not! the faint anguish flows, 
A dreamy pang" in Morning s feverous doze. 

Is this piled earth our Being s passless mound ? 
Tell me, cold grave ! is death with poppies crowned ? 
Tired Sentinel ! mid fitful starts I nod, 
And fain would sleep, though pillowed on a clod ! 



TO A YOUNG LADY, 

WITH A POEM ON THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. 

MUCH on my early youth I love to dwell, 
Ere yet I bade that friendly dome farewell, 
Where first, beneath the echoing cloisters pale, 
I heard of guilt and wondered at the tale ! 
Yet though the hours flew by on careless w T ing, 
Full heavily of Sorrow would I sing. 
Aye as the star of evening flung its beam 
In broken radiance on the wavy stream, 
My soul amid the pensive twilight gloom 
Mourned with the breeze, O Lee Boo I 1 o er thy 

tomb. 

Where er I wandered, Pity still was near, 
Breathed from the heart and glistened in the tear : 

1 Lee Boo, the son of Abba Thule, Prince of the Pelew 
Islands, came over to England with Captain Wilson, died 
of the small-pox, and is buried in Greenwich church-yard. 
See Keate s Account. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 61 

No knell that tolled, but filled my anxious eye, 
And suffering Nature wept that one should die ! 1 

Thus to sad sympathies I soothed my breast, 

Calm, as the rainbow in the weeping- West : 

When slumbering Freedom roused by high Disdain 

With giant fury burst her triple chain ! 

Fierce on her front the blasting Dog-star glowed ; 

Her banners, like a midnight meteor, flowed ; 

Amid the yelling of the storm-rent skies 

She came, and scattered battles from her eyes ! 

Then Exultation waked the patriot fire 

And swept with wild hand the Tyrtaean lyre : 

Red from the Tyrant s wound I shook the lance, 

And strode in joy the reeking plains of France ! 

Fallen is the oppressor, friendless, ghastly, low, 
And my heart aches, though Mercy struck the blow. 
With wearied thought once more I seek the shade, 
Where peaceful Virtue weaves the myrtle braid. 
And O ! if Eyes whose holy glances roll, 
Swift messengers, and eloquent of soul ; 
If Smiles more winning, and a gentler Mien 
Than the love-wildered Maniac s brain hath seen 

> 

Shaping celestial forms in vacant air, 
If these demand the impassioned Poet s care 
If Mirth and softened Sense and Wit refined, 
The blameless features of a lovely mind ; 

1 Southey s Retrospect. 



62 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Then haply shall my trembling- hand assign 
No fading wreath to Beauty s saintly shrine. 
Nor, Sara! thou these early flowers refuse 
Ne er lurked the snake beneath their simple hues ; 
No purple bloom the Child of Nature brings 
From Flattery s night-shade : as he feels he sings. 

September, 1792. 



SONNET I. 

" Content, as random Fancies might inspire, 
If his weak harp at times or lonely lyre 
He struck with desultory hand, and drew 
Some softened tones to Nature not untrue." 

BOWLES. 

MY heart has thanked thee, Bowles ! for those soft 

strains 

Whose sadness soothes me, like the murmuring 
Of wild-bees in the sunny showers of spring ! 
For hence not callous to the mourner s pains 
Through Youth s gay prime and thornless paths I 

went : 

And when the mightier throes of mind began, 
And drove me forth, a thought-bewildered man, 
Their mild and manliest melancholy lent 
A mingled charm, such as the pang consigned 
To slumber, though the big tear it renewed ; 



JUVENILE POEMS. 63 

Bidding a strange mysterious Pleasure brood 
Over the wavy and tumultuous mind, 
As the great Spirit erst with plastic sweep 
Moved on the darkness of the unformed deep. 



SONNET II. 

As late I lay in slumber s shadowy vale, 

With wetted cheek and in a mourner s guise, 

I saw the sainted form of Freedom rise : 

She spake! not sadder moans the autumnal gale 

" Great Son of Genius ! sweet to me thy name, 

Ere in an evil hour with altered voice 

Thou bad st Oppression s hireling crew rejoice 

Blasting with wizard spell my laurelled fame. 

Yet never, Burke ! thou drank st Corruption s 

bowl ! 

Thee stormy Pity and the cherished lure 
Of Pomp, and proud Precipitance of soul 
Wildered with meteor fires. Ah Spirit pure ! 
^That error s mist had left thy purged eye : 
So might I clasp thee with a Mother s joy !" 



64 JUVENILE POEMS. 



SONNET III. 

THOUGH roused by that dark Vizir Riot rude 
Have driven our Priestly o er the ocean swell: 

*/ 

Though Superstition and her wolfish brood 
Bay his mild radiance, impotent and fell ; 
Calm in his halls of brightness he shall dwell ! 
For lo ! Religion at his strong behest 
Starts with mild anger from the Papal spell, 
And flings to earth her tinsel-glittering vest, 
Her mitred state and cumbrous pomp unholy ; 
And Justice wakes to bid the Oppressor wail 
Insulting aye the wrongs of patient Folly: 
And from her dark retreat by Wisdom won 
Meek Nature slowly lifts her matron veil 
To smile with fondness on her gazing son ! 



SONNET IV. 

i\ 

WHJEN British Freedom for a happier land 
Spread her broad wings, that fluttered with affright, 
Erskine ! thy voice she heard, and paused her 

flight 

Sublime of hope ! For dreadless thou didst stand 
(Thy censer, glowing with the hallowed flame) 
A hireless Priest before the insulted shrine, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 65 

And at her altar pour the stream divine 
Of unmatched eloquence. Therefore thy name 
Her sons shall venerate, and cheer thy breast 
With blessings heaven-ward breathed. And when 

the doom 

Of Nature bids thee die, beyond the tomb 
Thy light shall shine : as sunk beneath the West 
Though the great Summer Sun eludes our gaze, 
Still burns wide Heaven with his distended blaze. 



SONNET V. 

IT was some Spirit, Sheridan ! that breathed 
O er thy young mind such wildly various power ! 
My soul hath marked thee in her shaping hour, 
Thy temples with Hymmettian flow rets wreathed : 
And sweet thy voice, as when o er Laura s bier 
Sad music trembled through Vauclusa s glade ; 
Sweet, as at dawn the love-lorn Serenade 
That wafts soft dreams to Slumber s listening ear. 
Now patriot rage and indignation high 
Swell the full tones ! And now thine eye-beams 

dance 

Meanings of Scorn and W r it s quaint revelry ! 
Writhes inly from the bosom-probing glance 
The Apostate by the brainless rout adored, 
As erst that elder Fiend beneath great Michael s 

sword. 
VOL. i. F 



66 JUVENILE FOEMS. 



SONNET VI. 

O WHAT a loud and fearful shriek was there, 

A s though a thousand souls one death-groan poured ! 

Ah me ! they saw beneath a hireling s sword 

Their Kosciusko fall ! Through the swart air 

(As pauses the tired Cossac s barbarous yell 

Of triumph) on the chill and midnight gale 

Rises with frantic burst or sadder swell 

The dirge of murdered Hope ! while Freedom pale 

Bends in such anguish o er her destined bier, 

As if from eldest time some Spirit meek 

Had gathered in a mystic urn each tear 

That ever on a Patriot s furrowed cheek 

Fit channel found, and she had drained the bowl 

In the mere wilfulness, and sick despair of soul ! 



SONNET VII. 

As when far off the warbled strains are heard 
That soar on Morning s wing the vales among. 
Within his cage the imprisoned matin bird 
Swells the full chorus with a generous song: 
He bathes no pinion in the dewy light, 
No Father s joy, no Lover s bliss he shares, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 67 

Yet still the rising- radiance cheers his sight ; 
j| His fellows freedom soothes the captive s cares ! 
Thou, Fayette ! who didst wake with startling voice 
Life s better sun from that long wintry night, 
Thus in thy Country s triumphs shalt rejoice, 
And mock with raptures high the dungeon s might: 
For lo ! the morning struggles into day, 
And Slavery s spectres shriek and vanish from the 
ray! 



SONNET VIII. 

THOU gentle Look, that didst my soul beguile, 

Why hast thou left me ? Still in some fond dream 

Revisit my sad heart, auspicious Smile ! 

As falls on closing flowers the lunar beam : 

\Vhat time, in sickly mood, at parting day 

I lay me down and think of happier years ; 

Of Joys, that glimmered in Hope s twilight ray, 

Then left me darkling in a vale of tears. 

O pleasant days of hope for ever gone 1 

Could I recall you ! But that thought is vain. 

Availeth not Persuasion s sweetest tone 

To lure the fleet-winged Travellers back again : 

Yet fair, though faint, their images shall gleam 

Like the bright Rainbow on a willowy stream. 



68 JUVENILE POEMS. 



SONNET IX. 

PALE Roamer through the night ! thou poor For 
lorn ! 

Remorse that man on his death-bed possess, 
Who in the credulous hour of tenderness 
Betrayed, then cast thee forth to want and scorn ! 
The world is pitiless : the chaste one s pride 

. -7- ~ . 

Mimic of Virtue scowls on thy distress : 
Thy Loves and they, that envied thee, deride : 
And Vice alone will shelter wretchedness ! 
O ! I could weep to think, that there should be 
Cold-bosomed lewd ones, who endure to place 
Foul offerings on the shrine of misery, 
And force from famine the caress of Love ; 
May He shed healing- on the sore disgrace, 
He, the great Comforter that rules above! 



SONNET X. 

SWEET Mercy ! how my very heart has bled 
To see thee, poor Old Man ! and thy gray hairs 
Hoar with the snowy blast : while no one cares 
To clothe thy shrivelled limbs and palsied head. 
My Father ! throw away this tattered vest 
That mocks thy shivering ! take my garment use 



JUVENILE POEMS. 69 

A young- man s arm ! I ll melt these frozen dews 
That hang from thy white beard and numb thy 

breast. 

My Sara too shall tend thee, like a Child : 
And thou shalt talk, in our fire-side s recess, 
Of purple pride, that scowls on wretchedness. 
He did not so, the Galilean mild, 
Who met the Lazars turned from rich men s doors, 
And called them Friends, and healed their noisome 

sores ! 



SONNET XI. 

THOU bleedest, my poor Heart ! and thy distress 
Reasoning I ponder with a scornful smile, 
And probe thy sore wound sternly, though the while 
Swoln be mine eye and dim with heaviness. 
Why didst thou listen to Hope s whisper bland ? 
Or, listening, why forget the healing tale, 
W^hen Jealousy with feverous fancies pale 
Jarred thy fine fibres with a maniac s hand ? 
Faint was that Hope, and rayless ! Yet twas fair, 
And soothed with many a dream the hour of rest : 
Thou shouldst have loved it most, when most op- 

prest, 

And nursed it with an agony of care, 
Even as a Mother her sweet infant heir 
That wan and sickly droops upon her breast \ 



70 JUVENILE POEMS. 



SONNET XII. 

TO THE AUTHOR OF THE " ROBBERS." 

SCHILLER ! that hour I would have wished to die, 
If through the shuddering- midnight I had sent 
From the dark dungeon of the tower time-rent 
That fearful voice, a famished Father s cry 
Lest in some after moment aught more mean 
Might stamp me mortal ! A triumphant shout 
Black Horror screamed, and all her goblin rout 
Diminished shrunk from the more withering scene ! 
Ah ! Bard tremendous in sublimity ! 
Could I behold thee in thy loftier mood 
Wandering at eve with finely frenzied eye 
Beneath some -vast old tempest-swinging wood ! 
Awhile with mute awe gazing I would brood; 
Then weep aloud in a wild ecstasy ! 



LINES 

COMPOSED WHILE CLIMBING THE LEFT ASCENT OF 

BROCK LEY COOMB, SOMERSETSHIRE, 

MAY, 17S5. 

WITH many a pause and oft reverted eye 

I climb the Coomb s ascent : sweet songsters near 

Warble in shade their wild -wood melody : 

"Far off the unvarying Cuckoo soothes my ear. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 71 

Up scour the startling stragglers of the Flock 
That on green plots o er precipices browse : 
From the deep fissures of the naked rock 
The Yew tree bursts ! Beneath its dark green boughs 
(Mid which the May- thorn blends its blossoms 

white) 

Where broad smooth stones jut out in mossy seats, 
I rest: and now have gained the topmost site. 
Ah ! what a luxury of landscape meets 
My gaze ! Proud towers, and cots more dear to me, 
Elm-shadow d fields, and prospect-bounding sea ! 
Deep sighs my lonely heart : I drop the tear : 
Enchanting spot ! O were my Sara here ! 



LINES 

IN THE MANNER OF SPENSER. 

PEACE, that on a lilied bank dost love 
To rest thine head beneath an olive tree, 

1 would, that from the pinions of thy dove 
One quill withouten pain yplucked might be ! 
For O ! I wish my Sara s frowns to flee, 

And fain to her some soothing song would write, 

Lest she resent my rude discourtesy, 

Who vowed to meet her ere the morninsr light, 

O O " 

But broke my plighted word ah ! false and re 
creant wight ! 



72 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Last night as I my weary head did pillow 
With thoughts of my dissevered Fair engrost, 
Chill Fancy drooped wreathing herself with willow, 
As though my breast entombed a pining ghost. 
" From some blest couch, young Rapture s bridal 

boast, 

Rejected Slumber ! hither wing thy way ; 
But leave me with the matin hour, at most ! 
As night-closed floweret to the orient ray, 
My sad heart will expand, when I the Maid survey." 

But Love, who heard the silence of my thought, 
Contrived a too successful wile, I ween : 
And whispered to himself, with malice fraught 
" Too long our Slave the Damsel s smiles hath seen: 
To-morrow shall he ken her altered mien !" 
He spake, and ambushed lay, till on my bed 
The morning shot her dewy glances keen, 
When as I gan to lift my drowsy head 
" Now, Bard ! I ll work thee woe !" the laughing 
Elfin said. 

Sleep, softly-breathing God ! his downy wing 
Was fluttering* now, as quickly to depart ; 
When twanged an arrow from Love s mystic string, 
With pathless wound it pierced him to the heart. 
Was there some magic in the Elfin s dart ? 
Or did he strike my couch with wizard lance ? 
For straight so fair a Form did upwards start 
(No fairer decked the bowers of old Romance) 



JUVENILE POMS. 73 

That Sleep enamoured grew, nor moved from his 

sweet trance ! 

My Sara came, with gentlest look divine ; 
Bright shone her eye, yet tender was its beam : 
I felt the pressure of her lip to mine ! 
Whispering we went, and Love was all our theme 
Love pure and spotless, as at first, I deem, 
He sprang from Heaven ! Such joys with Sleep did 
That I the living image of my dream [ bide 

Fondly forgot. Too late I woke, and sigh d 
" ! how shall I behold my Love at even-tide !" 



IMITATED FROM OSSIAN 

THE stream with languid murmur creeps, 

In Lumin s flowery vale : 
Beneath the dew the Lily weeps 

Slow- waving to the gale. 

" Cease, restless gale ! it seems to say, 
Nor wake me with thy sighing ! 

The honours of my vernal day 
On rapid wing are flying. 

" To-morrow shall the Traveller come 
Who late beheld me blooming : 

His searching eye shall vainly roam 
The dreary vale of Lumin." 



74 JUVENILE POEMS 

With eager gaze and wetted cheek 

My wonted haunts along, 
Thus, faithful Maiden ! thou shalt seek 

The Youth of simplest song. 

But I along the breeze shall roll 
The voice of feeble power ; 

And dwell, the Moon-beam of thy soul, 
In Slumber s nightly hour. 



THE COMPLAINT OF NINATHOMA. 

How long will ye round me be swelling, 

O ye blue-tumbling waves of the sea ? 
Not always in caves was my dwelling, 

Nor beneath the cold blast of the tree. 
Through the high-sounding halls of Cathloma 

In the steps of my beauty I strayed ; 
The warriors beheld Ninathoma, 

And they blessed the white-bosomed Maid ! 

A Ghost ! by my cavern it darted ! 

In moon-beams the Spirit was drest 
For lovely appear the departed 

When they visit the dreams of my rest ! 
But disturbed by the tempest s commotion 

Fleet the shadowy forms of delight 
Ah cease, thou shrill blast of the Ocean ! 

To howl through my cavern by night. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



IMITATED FROM THE WELSH. 

IF, while my passion I impart, 
You deem my words untrue, 

O place your hand upon my heart 
Feel how it throbs for you ! 

Ah no ! reject the thoughtless claim 

In pity to your Lover ! 
That thrilling touch would aid the flame, 

It wishes to discover. 



TO AN INFANT. 

AH ! cease thy tears and sobs, my little Life ! 
I did but snatch away the unclasped knife : 
Some safer toy will soon arrest thine eye, 
And to quick laughter change this peevish cry 
Poor stumbler on the rocky coast of woe,- 
Tutored by pain each source of pain to know ! 
Alike the foodful fruit and scorching fire 
Awake thy eager grasp and young desire ; 
Alike the Good, the 111 offend thy sight, 
And rouse the stormy sense of shrill affright ! 
Untaught, yet wise ! mid all thy brief alarms 
Thou closely clingest to thy Mother s arms, 
Nestling thy little face in that fond breast 
Whose anxious heavings lull thee to thy rest t 



76 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Man s breathing Miniature ! thou mak st me sigh- 
A Babe art thou and such a Thing- arn I ! 
To anger rapid and as soon appeased, 
For trifles mourning and by trifles pleased, 
Break Friendship s mirror with a tetchy blow, 
Yet snatch what coals of fire on Pleasure s altar glow ! 

O thou that rearest with celestial aim 

The future Seraph in my mortal frame, 

Thrice holy Faith ! whatever thorns I meet 

As on I totter with unpractised feet, 

Still let me stretch my arms and cling to thee, 

Meek nurse of souls through their long infancy ! 



LINES 

WRITTEN AT SHURTON BARS, NEAR BRIDGEWATER, 

SEPTEMBER, 1795, IN ANSWER TO A LETTER 

FROM BRISTOL. 

Good verse most s;ood, and bad verse then seems better 

Received from absent friend by way of Letter. 

For what so sweet can laboured lays impart 

As one rude rhyme warm from a friendly heart ? ANON. 

NOR travels my meandering eye 
The starry wilderness on high ; 

Nor now with curious sight 
I mark the glow-worm, as I pass, 
Move with " green radiance" through the grass, 

An emerald of light. 



JUVENILE POEMS. / 

ever present to my view ! 
My wafted spirit is with you, 

And soothes your boding 1 fears : 

1 see you all oppressed with gloom 
Sit lonely in that cheerless room 

Ah me ! You are in te&rs ! 

Beloved Woman ! did you fly 

Chilled Friendship s dark disliking eye, 

Or Mirth s untimely din ? 
With cruel weight these trifles press 
A temper sore with tenderness, 

When aches the Void within 

But why with sable wand unblest 
Should Fancy rouse within my breast 

Dim-visaged shapes of Dread ? 
Untenanting* its beauteous clay 
My Sara s soul has winged its way, 

And hovers round my head ! 

I felt it prompt the tender dream, 
When slowly sank the day s last g leam ; 

You roused each gentler sense, 
As sighing o er the blossom s bloom 
Meek Evening- wakes its soft perfume 

With viewless influence. 

And hark, my Love ! The sea-breeze moans 
Through yon reft house ! O er rolling stones 



JUVENILE POEMS. 

In bold ambitious sweep, 
The onward-surging tides supply 
The silence of the cloudless sky 

With mimic thunders deep. 

Dark reddening fro%i the channelled Isle 1 
(Where stands one solitary pile 

Unslated by the blast) 
The watchfire, like a sullen star 
Twinkles to many a dozing tar 

Rude cradled on the mast. 

Even there beneath that light-house tower- 
In the tumultuous evil hour 

Ere Peace with Sara came, 
Time was, I should have thought it sweet 
To count the echoings of my feet, 

And watch the storm-vexed flame. 

And there in black soul-jaundiced fit 
A sad gloom-pampered Man to sit, 

And listen to the roar : 
When mountain surges bellowing deep 
With an uncouth monster leap 

Plunged foaming on the shore. 

Then by the lightning s blaze to mark 
Some toiling tempest-shattered bark; 

1 The Holmes, in the Bristol Channel. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 79 

Her vain distress-guns hear ; 
And when a second sheet of light 
Flashed o er the blackness of the night 

To see no vessel there ! 

But Fancy now more gaily sings ; 
Or if awhile she droop her wings, 

As sky-larks mid the corn, 
On summer fields she grounds her breast : 
The oblivious poppy o er her nest 

Nods, till returning morn. 

O mark those smiling tears, that swell 
The opened rose! From heaven they fell, 

And with the sun-beam blend. 
Blest visitations from above, 
Such are the tender woes of Love 

Fostering the heart they bend ! 

When stormy Midnight howling round 
Beats on our roof with clattering sound, 

To me your arms you ll stretch : 
Great God ! you ll say To us so kind, 
O shelter from this loud bleak wind 

The houseless, friendless wretch ! 

The tears that tremble down your cheek, 
Shall bathe my kisses chaste and meek 

In Pity s dew divine ; 
And from your heart the sighs that steal 



80 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Shall make your rising- bosom feel 
The answering swell of mine ! 



How oft, my Love ! with shapings sweet 
I paint the moment, we shall meet ! 

With eager speed I dart 
I seize you in the vacant air, 
And fancy, with a husband s care 

I press you to my heart ! 

Tis said, in Summer s evening hour 
Flashes the golden-coloured flower 

A fair electric flame : 
And so shall flash my love-charged eye 
When all the heart s big ecstasy 

Shoots rapid through the frame ! 



LINES 

TO A FRIEND IN ANSWER TO A MELANCHOLY 

LETTER. 

AWAY, those cloudy looks, that labouring sigh, 
The peevish offspring of a sickly hour ! 
Nor meanly thus complain of Fortune s power, 
When the blind gamester throws a luckless die. 

Yon setting sun flashes a mournful gleam 
Behind those broken clouds, his stormy train : 



JUVENILE POEMS. 81 

To-morrow shall the many-coloured main 
In brightness roll beneath his orient beam ! 

Wild, as the autumnal gust, the hand of Time 
Flies o er his mystic lyre : in shadowy dance 
The alternate groups of Joy and Grief advance 
Responsive to his varying strains sublime ! 

Bears on its wing- each hour a load of Fate ; 
The swain, who, lulled by Seine s mild murmurs, led 
His weary oxen to their nightly shed, 
To-day may rule a tempest-troubled State. 

Nor shall not Fortune with a vengeful smile 
Survey the sanguinary despot s might, 
And haply hurl the pageant from his height 
Unwept to wander in some savage isle. 

There shiv ring sad beneath the tempest s frown 
Round his tired limbs to wrap the purple vest ; 
And mixed with nails and beads, an equal jest ! 
Barter for food the jewels of his crown. 



VOL. i. 



82 JUVENILE POEMS. 



RELIGIOUS MUSINGS; 

A DESULTORY POEM, WRITTEN ON THE CHRISTMAS 

EVE OF 1794. 

THIS is the time, when most divine to hear, 

The voice of adoration rouses me, 

As with a Cherub s trump : and high uphorne, 

Yea, mingling with the choir, I seem to view 

The vision of the heavenly multitude, 

Who hymned the song of peace o er Bethlehem s 

fields ! 
Yet thou more bright than all the an^el blaze, 

CJ O 

That harbingered thy birth, Thou, Man of Woes! 
Despised Galilean ! For the great 
Invisible (by symbols only seen) 
With a peculiar and surpassing light 
Shines from the visage of the oppressed good man, 
When heedless of himself the scourged Saint 
Mourns for the oppressor. Fair the vernal mead, 
Fair the high grove, the sea, the sun, the stars; 
True impress each of their creating Sire ! 
Yet nor high grove, nor many-coloured mead, 
Nor the green Ocean with his thousand isles, 
Nor the starred azure, nor the sovran sun, 
E er with such majesty of portraiture 
Imaged the supreme beauty uncreate, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 83 

As thou, meek Saviour ! at the fearful hour 

When thy insulted anguish winged the prayer 

Harped by Archangels, when they sing* of mercy! 

Which when the Almighty heard from forth his 
throne 

Diviner light filled Heaven with ecstasy ! 

Heaven s hymnings paused : and Hell her yawn 
ing mouth 

Closed a brief moment. 

Lovely was the death 

Of Him whose life was Love ! Holy with power 
He on the thought-benighted Sceptic beamed 
Manifest Godhead, melting into day 
What floating mists of dark idolatry 
Broke and misshaped the omnipresent Sire : 
And first by Fear uncharmed the drowsed Soul. 
Till of its nobler nature it gan feel 
Dim recollections ; and thence soared to Hope, 
/ Strong to believe whate er of mystic good 
The Eternal dooms for his immortal sons. 
From Hope and firmer Faith to perfect Love 
Attracted and absorbed : and centred there 
God only to behold, and know, and feel, 
Till by exclusive consciousness of God 
All self-annihilated it shall make 
God its identity : God all in all ! 
We and our Father one ! 

i 

And blest are they, 



84 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Who in this fleshly World, the elect of Heaven, 
Their strong eye darting through the deeds of men, 
Adore with steadfast unpres liming gaze 
Him Nature s essence, mind, and energy ! 
And gazing, trembling, patiently ascend 
Treading beneath their feet all visible things 
As steps, that upward to their Father s throne 
Lead gradual else nor glorified nor loved. 
They nor contempt embosom nor revenge : 
For they dare know of what may seem deform 
The Supreme Fair sole operant : in whose sight 
All things are pure, his strong Controlling Love 
Alike from all educing perfect good. 
Their s too celestial courage, inly armed 
Dwarfing Earth s giant brood, what time they muse 
On their great Father, great beyond compare ! 
And marching onwards view high o er their heads 
His waving banners of Omnipotence. 

Who the Creator love, created might 

Dread not: within their tents no terrors walk. 

For they are holy things before the Lord 

Aye unprofaned, though Earth should league with 

Hell ; 

God s altar grasping with an eager hand 
Fear, the wild-visaged, pale, eye-starting wretch, 
Sure-refuged hears his hot pursuing fiends 
Yell at vain distance. Soon refreshed from Heaven 
He calms the throb and tempest of his heart. 
His countenance settles ; a soft solemn bliss 



JUVENILE POEMS. 85 

Swims in his eye his swimming- eye upraised : 

And Faith s whole armour glitters on his limbs ! 

And thus transfigured with a dreadless awe, 

A solemn hush of soul, meek he beholds 

All things of terrible seeming-: yea, unmoved 

Views e en the immitigable ministers 

That shower down vengeance on these latter days. 

For kindling with intenser Deity 

From the celestial Mercy-seat they come, 

And at the renovating wells of Love 

Have filled their vials with salutary wrath, 

To sickly Nature more medicinal 

Than what soft balm the weeping good man pours 

Into the lone despoiled traveller s wounds ! 

Thus from the Elect, regenerate through faith, 
Pass the dark Passions and what thirstv Cares 

j 

Drink up the Spirit, and the dim regards 
Self-centre. Lo they vanish ! or acquire 
New names, new r features -by supernal grace 
Enrobed with Light, and naturalized in Heaven. 
As when a shepherd on a vernal morn 
Through some thick fog creeps timorous with slow 

foot, 

Darkling he fixes on the immediate road 
His downward eye : all else of fairest kind 
Hid or deformed. But lo ! the bursting Sun ! 
Touched by the enchantment of that sudden beam 
Straight the black vapour melteth, and in globes 
Of dewy glitter gems each plant and tree ; 



86 JUVENILE POEMS. 

On every leaf, on every blade it hang s ! 
Dance glad the new-born intermingling rays, 
And wide around the landscape streams with glory ! 

There is one Mind, one omnipresent Mind, 

Omnilic. His most holy name is Love. 

Truth of subliming import ! with the which 

Who feeds and saturates his constant soul, 

He from his small particular orbit flies 

With blest outstarting ! From Himself he flies, 

Stands in the sun, and with no partial gaze 

Views all creation ; and he loves it all, 

And blesses it, and calls it very good ! 

This is indeed to dwell with the most High ! 

Cherubs and rapture-trembling Seraphim 

Can press no nearer to the Almighty s Throne. 

But that we roam unconscious, or with hearts 

Unfeeling of our universal Sire, 

And that in his vast family no Cain 

Injures uninjured (in her best-aimed blow 

Victorious murder a blind suicide) 

Haply for this some younger Angel now 

Looks down on human nature : and, behold ! 

A sea of blood bestrewed with wrecks, where mad 

Embattling interests on each other rush 

With unhelmed rage ! 

Tis the sublime of man, 
Our noontide majesty, to know ourselves 
Parts and proportions of one wondrous whole ! 



JUVENILE POEMS. ot 

This fraternizes man, this constitutes 
Our charities and bearings. But tis God 
Diffused through all, that doth make all one whole ; 
This the worst superstition, him except 
Aught to desire, Supreme Reality ! 
The plenitude and permanence of bliss ! 

Fiends of Superstition ! not that oft 

The erring priest hath stained with brother s blood 
Your grisly idols, not for this may wrath 
Thunder against you from the Holy One ! 
But o er some plain that steameth to the sun, 
Peopled with death ; or where more hideous Trade 
Loud-laughing packs his bales of human anguish ; 

1 will raise up a mourning, O ye Fiends ! 

And curse your spells, that film the eye of Faith, 
Hiding the present God ; whose presence lost, 
The moral world s cohesion, we become 
An anarchy of Spirits ! Toy-bewitched, 
Made blind by lusts, disherited of soul, 
No common centre Man, no common sire 
Knoweth ! A sordid solitary thing, 
Mid countless brethren with a lonely heart 
Through courts and cities the smooth savage roams 
Feeling himself, his own low self the whole ; 
When he by sacred sympathy might make 
The whole one self! self, that no alien knows ! 
Self, far diffused as Fancy s wing can travel! 
Self, spreading still ! Oblivious of its own, 
Yet all of all possessing ! This is Faith ! 
This the Messiah s destined victory ! 



88 JUVENILE POEMS. 

But first offences needs must come ! Even now l 
(Black Helf laughs horrible to hear the scoff!) 
Thee to defend, meek Galilean ! Thee 
And thy mild laws of Love unutterable, 
Mistrust and enmity have burst the bands 
Of social peace ; and listening treachery lurks 
With pious fraud to snare a brother s life ; 
And childless widows o er the groaning; land 
Wall numberless ; and orphans weep for bread 
Thee to defend, dear Saviour of mankind ! 
Thee, Lamb of God ! Thee, blameless Prince of 

peace ! 

From all sides rush the thirsty brood of War, 
Austria, and that foul Woman of the North, 
The lustful murderess of her wedded lord ! 
And he, connatural mind ! whom (in their songs 

1 January 21st, 1794, in the debate on the address to 
his Majesty, on the /speech from the Throne, the Earl of 
Guildford moved an amendment to the following effect : 
" That the House hoped his Majesty would seize the ealiest 
opportunity to conclude a peace with France," &c. This 
motion was opposed by the Duke of Portland, who " con 
sidered the war to be merely grounded on one principle 
the preservation of the Christian Religion." May 30th, 
1794, the Duke of Bedford moved a number of resolutions, 
with a view to the establishment of a peace with France. 
He was opposed (among others) by Lord Abingdon in these 
remarkable words : " The best road to Peace, my Lords, is 
War ! and War carried on in the same manner in which we 
are taught to worship our Creator, namely, with all our 
souls, and with all our minds, and with all our hearts, and 
with all our strength." 



JUVENILE POEMS. 89 

So bards of elder time had haply feigned) 
Some Fury fondled in her hate to man, 
Bidding her serpent hair in mazy surge 
Lick his young face, and at his mouth imbreathe 
Horrible sympathy ! And leagued with these 
Each petty German princeling, nursed in gore ! 
Soul-hardened barterers of human blood ! 
Death s prime slave-merchants ! Scorpion-whips 

of Fate ! 

Nor least in savagery of holy zeal, 
Apt for the yoke, the race degenerate, 
Whom Britain erst had blushed to call her sons ! 
Thee to defend the Moloch priest prefers 
The prayer of hate, and bellows to the herd 
That Deity, accomplice Deity 
In the fierce jealousy of wakened wrath 
Will go forth with our armies and our fleets 
To scatter the red ruin on their foes ! 
O blasphemy ! to mingle fiendish deeds 

With blessedness ! 

< 

i 
Lord of unsleeping Love, 1 

From everlasting Thou ! We shall not die. 
These, even these, in mercy didst thou form, 
Teachers of Good through Evil, by brief wrong 
Making Truth lovely, and her future might 
Magnetic o er the fixed untrembling heart. 

1 Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord, my God, 
mine HcH- One? Wo shall not die. O Lord, thou hast 
ordained them for judgment, ccc. Habakkuk. 



90 JUVENILE POEMS. 

In the primeval age a dateless while 

The vacant Shepherd wandered with his flock, 

Pitching- his tent where er the green grass waved. 

But soon Imagination conjured up 

A host of new desires : with busy aim, 

Each for himself, Earth s eager children toiled. 

So Property began, twy-streaming fount, 

Whence Vice and Virtue flow, honey and gall. 

Hence the soft couch, and many-coloured robe, 

The timbrel, and arch d dome and costly feast, 

With all the inventive arts, that nursed the soul 

To forms of beauty, and by sensual wants 

Unsensualized the mind, which in the means 

Learnt to forget the grossness of the end, 

Best pleasured with its own activity. 

And hence Disease that withers manhood s arm, 

The daggered Envy, spirit-quenching Want, 

Warriors, and Lords, and Priests all the sore ills 

That vex and desolate our mortal life. 

Wide-wasting ills ! yet each the immediate source 

Of mightier good. Their keen necessities 

o o 

To ceaseless action g oading human thought 
Have made Earth s reasoning animal her Lord ; 
And the pale-featured Sage s trembling hand 
Strong as a host of armed Deities, 
Such as the blind Ionian fabled erst. 

/From avarice thus, from luxury and war 
1 Sprang heavenly science; and from science freedom. 
O er wakened realms Philosophers and Bards 



JUVENILE POEMS. 91 

Spread in concentric circles : they whose souls, 
Conscious of their high dignities from God, 
Brook not wealth s rivalry ! and they who long- 
Enamoured with the charms of order hate 
The unseemly disproportion : and whoe er 
Turn with mild sorrow from the victor s car 
And the low puppetry of thrones, to muse 
On that blest triumph, when the patriot Sage 
Called the red lightnings from the o er-rushing cloud 
And dashed the beauteous terrors on the earth 
Smiling majestic. Such a phalanx ne er 
Measured firm paces to the calming sound 
Of Spartan flute! These on the fated day, 
When, stung to rage by pity, eloquent men 
Have roused with pealing voice the unnumbered 

tribes 

That toil and groan and bleed, hungry and blind, 
These hushed awhile with patient eye serene 
Shall watch the mad careering- of the storm ; 
Then o er the wild and wavy chaos rush 
And tame the outrageous mass, with plastic might 
Moulding confusion to such perfect forms, 
As erst were wont, bright visions of the day ! 
To float before them, when, the summer noon, 
Beneath some arch d romantic rock reclined 
They felt the sea breeze lift their youthful locks ; 
Or in the month of blossoms, at mild eve, 
Wandering with desultory feet inhaled 
The wafted perfumes, and the flocks and woods 
And many-tinted streams and setting sun 



92 JUVENILE POEMS. 

With all his gorgeous company of clouds 

Ecstatic gazed ! then homeward as they strayed 

Cast the sad eye to earth, and inly mused 

Why there was misery in a world so fair. 

Ah ! far removed from all that glads the sense, 

From all that softens or ennobles Man, 

The wretched Many ! Bent beneath their loads 

They gape at pageant Power, nor recognise 

Their cots transmuted plunder ! From the tree 

Of Knowledge, ere the vernal sap had risen 

Rudely disbranched ! Blest Society ! 

Fitliest depictured by some sun-scorched waste, 

Where oft majestic through the tainted noon 

The Simoom sails, before whose purple pomp 

Who falls not prostrate dies ! And where by night, 

Fast by each precious fountain on green herbs 

The lion couches ; or hyrena dips 

Deep in the lucid stream his bloody jaws ; 

Or serpent plants his vast moon-glittering bulk, 

Caught in whose monstrous twine Behemoth 1 yells, 

His bones loud-crashing ! 

O ye numberless, 

Whom foul oppression s ruffian gluttony 
Drives from life s plenteous feast ! O thou poor 

wretch 
W r ho nursed in darkness and made wild by want, 

1 Behemoth, in Hebrew, signifies wild beasts in general. 
Some believe it is the elephant, some the hippopotamus ; 
some affirm it is the wild bull. Poetically, it designates 
any large quadruped. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 98 

Roamest for prey, yea thy unnatural hand 
Dost lift to deeds of blood ! O pale-eyed form, 
The victim of seduction, doomed to know 
Polluted nights and days of blasphemy ; 
Who in loathed orgies with lewd wassailers 
Must gaily laugh, while thy remembered home 
Gnaws like a viper at thy secret heart ! 
O aged Avomen ! ye who weekly catch 
The morsel tossed by law-forced charity, 
And die so slowly, that none call it murder ! 
O loathly suppliants ! ye, that unreceived 
Totter heart-broken from the closing gates 
Of the full Lazar-house : or, gazing, stand 
Sick with despair ! ye to glory s field 
Forced or ensnared, who, as ye gasp in death, 
Bleed with new wounds beneath the vulture s beak ! 
O thou poor widow, who in dreams dost view 
Thy husband s mangled corse, and from short doze 
Start st with a shriek ; or in thy half-thatched cot 
Waked by the wintry night-storm, wet and cold 
Cow rst o er thy screaming baby ! Rest awhile 
Children of wretchedness! More groans must rise, 
More blood must stream, or ere your wronjrs be full. 
\e\ is the day of retribution nio-h : 

O 

The Lamb of God hath opened the fifth seal : 
And upward rush on swiftest wing of fire 
The innumerable multitude of Wrongs 

O 

By man on man inflicted ! Rest awhile, 
Children of wretchedness ! The hour is nigh ; 
And lo! the great, the rich, the mighty Men, 



94 JUVENILE POEMS, 

The King s and the chief Captains of the World,. 
With all that fixed on high like stars of Heaven 
Shot baleful influence, shall be cast to earth, 
Vile and down- trodden, as the untimely fruit 
Shook from the fig-tree by a sudden storm. 
Even now the storm begins i 1 each gentle name, 
Faith and meek Piety, with fearful joy 
Tremble far-off for lo ! the giant Frenzy 
Uprooting empires with his whirlwind arm 
Mocketh high Heaven; burst hideous from the cell 
Where the old Hag, unconquerable, huge, 
Creation s eyeless drudge, black ruin, sits 
., Nursing the impatient earthquake. 

O return ! 

Pure Faith ! meek Piety ! The abhorred Form 
Whose scarlet robe was stiff with earthly pomp, 
Who drank iniquity in cups of gold, 
Whose names were many and all blasphemous, 
Hath met the horrible judgment ! Whence that cry ? 
The mighty army of foul Spirits shrieked 
Disherited of earth ! For she hath fallen 
On whose black front was written Mystery ; 
She that reeled heavily, whose wine was blood ; 
She that worked whoredom with the Demon Power, 
And from the dark embrace all evil things 
Brought forth and nurtured : mitred atheism ! 

O 

And patient Folly who on bended knee 

Gives back the steel that stabbed him; and pale Fear 



1 Alluding to the French Revolution. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 95 

Haunted by ghastlier shapings than surround 

Moon-blasted Madness when he yells at midnight ! 

Return pure Faith ! return meek Piety ! 

The kingdoms of the world are yours : each heart 

Self-governed, the vast family of Love 

Raised from the common earth by common toil 

Enjoy the equal produce. Such delights 

As float to earth, permitted visitants ! 

When in some hour of solemn jubilee 

The massy gates of Paradise are thrown 

Wide open, and forth come in fragments wild 

Sweet echoes of unearthly melodies, 

And odours snatched from beds of amaranth, 

And they, that from the crystal river of life 

Spring up on freshened wing, ambrosial gales ! 

The favoured good man in his lonely walk 

Perceives them, and his silent spirit drinks 

Strange bliss which he shall recognise in heaven. 

And such delights, such strange beatitudes 

Seize on my young anticipating heart 

When that blest future rushes on my view ! 

For in his own and in his Father s might 

The Saviour comes ! While as the Thousand Years 

Lead up their mystic dance, the Desert shouts ! 

Old Ocean claps his hands ! The mighty Dead 

Rise to new life, whoe er from earliest time 

With conscious zeal had urged Love s wondrous plan, 

Coadjutors of God. To Milton s trump 

The high groves of the renovated Earth 

Unbosom their glad echoes: inly hushed, 



96 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Adoring 1 Newton his serener eye 
Raises to heaven : and he of mortal kind 
Wisest, he 1 first who marked the ideal tribes 
Up the fine fibres through the sentient brain. 
Lo ! Priestley there, patriot, and saint, and sage, 
Him, full of years, from his loved native land 
Statesmen blood stained and priests idolatrous 
By dark lies maddening 1 the blind multitude 
Drove with Vain hate. Calm, pitying he retired, 
And mused expectant on these promised years. 

O Years ! the blest pre-eminence of Saints ! 
Ye sweep athwart my gaze, so heavenly bright, 
The wings that veil the adoring Seraphs eyes, 
What time they bend before the Jasper Throne - 
Reflect no lovelier hues ! Yet ye depart, 
And all beyond is darkness ! Heights most strang-o. 
Whence Fancy falls, fluttering her idle wing. 
For who of woman born may paint the hour, 
When seized in his mid course, the Sun shall wane 
Making noon ghastly ! Who of woman born 
May image in the workings of his thought, 
How the black-visaged, red-eyed Fiend out 
stretched 3 

1 David Hartley. 

2 Rev. chap. iv. v. "I and 3. And immediately I M-;IS 
in the Spirit : and behold, a Throne was set in Heaven 
and one sat on the Throne. And he that sat was to look 
upon like a jasper and a sardine stone, &c. 

3 The ilnal destruction impersonated. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 97 

Beneath the unsteady feet of Nature groans, 
In feverous slumbers destined then to wake, 
When fiery whirlwinds thunder his dread name 
And Angels shout, Destruction ! How his arm 
The last great Spirit lifting 1 high in air 
Shall swear by Him, the ever-living One, 
Time is no more ! 

Believe thou, O my soul, 
Life is a vision shadowy of Truth ; 
And vice, and anguish, and the wormy grave, 
Shapes of a dream ! The veiling clouds retire, 
And lo ! the Throne of the redeeming God 
Forth flashing unimaginable day 

J 

Wraps in one blaze earth, heaven, and deepest hell. 

Contemplant Spirits ! ye that hover o er 

With untired gaze the immeasurable fount 

Ebullient with creative Deity ! 

And ye of plastic power, that interfused 

Roll through the grosser and material mass 

In organizing surge ! Holies of God ! 

(And what if Monads of the infinite mind) 

I haply journeying my immortal course 

Shall sometime join your mystic choir. Till then 

I discipline my young and novice thought 

In ministeries of heart-stirring sono- 

(J ^j 

And aye on Meditation s heaven-ward wing 
Soaring aloft I breathe the empyreal air 
Of Love, omnific, omnipresent Love, 
VOL. i. ii 



98 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Whose day-spring rises glorious in my soul 
As the greai Sun, when he his influence 
Sheds on the frost-bound waters The glad stream 
Flows to the ray and warbles as it flows. 



THE DESTINY OF NATIONS. 

A VISION. 

AUSPICIOUS Reverence ! Hush all meaner song, 

Ere we the deep preluding strain have poured 

To the Great Father, only Rightful King, 

Eternal Father ! King Omnipotent ! 

To the Will Absolute, the One, the Good ! 

The I AM, the Word, the Life, the Living God ! 

Such symphony requires best instrument. 
Seize, then, my soul ! from Freedom s trophied dome 
The harp which hangeth high between the shields 
Of Brutus and Leonidas ! With that 
Strong music, that soliciting spell, force back 
Man s free and stirring spirit that lies entranced. 

For what is freedom, but the unfettered use 
Of all the powers which God for use had given ? 
But chiefly this, him first, him last to view 

* 

Through meaner powers and secondary things 
Effulgent, as through clouds that veil his blaze. 
For all that meets the bodily sense I deem 
Symbolical, one mighty alphabet 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



99 



For infant minds ; and we in this low world 
Placed with our backs to bright reality, 
That we may learn with young unwounded ken 
The substance from its shadow. Infinite Love, 
Whose latence is the plenitude of all, 
Thou with retracted beams, and self-eclipse 
Veiling, revealest thine eternal Sun. 

But some there are who deem themselves most free 
When they within this gross and visible sphere 
Chain down the winged thought, scoffing ascent, 
Proud in their meanness : and themselves they cheat 
With noisy emptiness of learned phrase, 
Their subtle fluids, impacts, essences, 
Self-working tools, uncaused effects, and all 
Those blind omniscients, those almighty slaves, 
Untenanting creation of its God. 

But properties are God : the naked mass 
(If mass there be, fantastic guess or ghost) 
Acts only by its inactivity. 
Here we pause humbly. Others boldlier think 
That as one body seems the aggregate 
Of atoms numberless, each organized ; 
So by a strange and dim similitude 
Infinite myriads of self-conscious minds 
Are one all-conscious Spirit, which informs 
With absolute ubiquity of thought 
(His one eternal self-affirming act !) 
All his involved Monads, that yet seem 



100 JUVENILE POEMS. 

With various province and apt agency 
Each to pursue its own self-centring- end. 
Some nurse the infant diamond in the mine ; 
Some roll the genial juices through the oak ; 
Some drive the mutinous clouds to clash in air, 
And rushing on the storm with whirlwind speed, 
Yoke the red lightnings to their volleying car. 
Thus these pursue their never-varying course, 
No eddy in their stream. Others, more wild, 
With complex interests weaving human fates, 
Duteous or proud, alike obedient all, 
Evolve the process of eternal good. 

And what if some rebellious o er dark realms 
Arrogate power ? yet these train up to God, 
And on the rude eye, unconfirmed for day, 
Flash meteor-lights better than total gloom. 
As ere from Lieule-Oaive s vapoury head 
The Laplander beholds the far-off sun 
Dart his slant beam on unobeying snows, 
While yet the stern and solitary night 
Brooks no alternate sway, the Boreal Morn 
With mimic lustre substitutes its gleam, 
Guiding his course or by Niemi lake 
Or Balda Zhiok, 1 or the mossy stone 
Of Solfar-kapper, 2 while the snowy blast 

1 Balda Zhiok ; i. e. mons altitudinis, the highest moun 
tain in Lapland. 

2 Solfar Kapper ; capitium Solfar, hie locus omnium 
quotquot veterum Lapponum superstitio sacrificiis religi- 



JUVENILE POEMS. 101 

Drifts arrowy by, or eddies round his sledge, 
Making the poor babe at its mother s back 1 
Scream in its scanty cradle : he the while 
Wins gentle solace as with upward eye 
He marks the streamy banners of the North, 
Thinking himself those happy spirits" shall join 
Who there in floating robes of rosy light 
Dance sportively. For Fancy is the power 
That first unsensualizes the dark mind, 
Giving it new delights ; and bids it swell 
With wild activity ; and peopling air> 
By obscure fears of beings invisible, 
Emancipates it from the grosser thrall 
Of the present impulse, teaching self-control, 

osoque cultui dedicavit, celebratissimus erat, in parte sinus 
australis situs semimilliaris spatio a mari distans. Ipse 
locus, quern curiositatis gratia aliquando me invisisse me- 
mini, duabus prealtis lapidibus, sibi invicem oppositis, 
quorum alter musco circumdatus erat, constabat. Leemius 
de Lapponibus. 

1 The Lapland women carry their infants at their back 
in a piece of excavated wood, which serves them for a 
cradle. Opposite to the infant s mouth there is a hole 
lor it to breathe through. Mirandum prorsus est et vix 
cvedibile nisi cui vidisse contigit. Lappones hyeme iter 
f acientes per vastos montes, perque horrida et invia tesqua, 
eo presertim tempore quo omnia perpetuis nivibus obtecta 
sunt et nives ventis agitantur et in gyros aguntur, viam ad 
destinata loca absque errore invenire posse, lactantem 
autem infantem si quern habeat, ipsa mater in dorsobajulat, 
in excavato ligno (Gieed k ipsi vocant) quod pro cunis 
utuntur : in hoc infans pannis et pellibus convolutus colli- 
gatus jacet. Leemius de Lapponibus. 



102 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Till Superstition with unconscious hand 

Seat Reason on her throne. Wherefore not vain, 

Nor yet without permitted power impressed, 

I deem those legends terrible, with which 

The polar ancient thrills his uncouth throng : 

Whether of pitying Spirits that make their moan 

O er slaughtered infants, or that giant bird 

Vuokho, of whose rushing wings the noise 

Is tempest, when the unutterable 1 shape 

Speeds from the mother of Death, and utters once 

That shriek, which never murderer heard, and lived. 

Or if the Greenland Wizard in strange trance 
Pierces the untravelled realms of Ocean s bed 
Over the abysm, even to that uttermost cave 
By mis-shaped prodigies beleaguered, such 
As earth ne er bred, nor air, nor the upper sea : 
Where dwells the Fury Form, whose unheard name 
With eager eye, pale cheek, suspended breath, 
And lips half-opening with the dread of sound, 
Unsleeping Silence guards, worn out with fear 
Lest haply scaping on some treacherous blast 
The fateful word let slip the elements 
And frenzy Nature. Yet the wizard her, 
Armed with Torngarsuck s 2 power, the Spirit of 

Good, 

<> 

1 Jaibme Aibmo. 

2 They call the Good Spirit Torngarsuck. The other 
great but malignant spirit is a nameless Female ; she 
dwells under the sea in a. great house, where she can detain 



JUVENILE POEMS. 103 

Forces to unchain the foodful progeny 

Of the Ocean stream; thence thro the realm 

of Souls, 

Where live the Innocent,, as far from cares 
As from the storms and overwhelming- waves 
That tumble on the surface of the Deep, 
Returns with far-heard pant, hotly pursued 
By the fierce Warders of the Sea, once more, 
Ere by the frost foreclosed, to repossess 
His fleshly mansion, that had staid the while 
In the dark tent within a cow ring group 
Untenanted. Wild phantasies ! yet wise, 
On the victorious goodness of high God 
Teaching reliance, and medicinal hope, 
Till from Bethabra northward, heavenly Truth 
With gradual steps, winning her difficult way, 
Transfer their rude Faith perfected and pure. 

If there be beings of higher class than Man, 
I deem no nobler province they possess, 
Than by disposal of apt circumstance 
To rear up kingdoms : and the deeds they prompt, 



in captivity all the animals of the ocean by her magic 
power. When a dearth befalls the Greenlanders, an An- 
gekok or magician must undertake a journey thither. He 
passes through the kingdom of souls, over a horrible 
abyss into the Palace of this phantom, and by his enchant 
ments causes the captive creatures to ascend directly to 
the surface of the ocean. See Crantzs History of Greenland, 
vol. i. 206. 



104 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Distinguishing- from mortal agency, 
They choose Iheir human ministers from such states 
As still the Epic song half fears to name, 
Repelled from all the minstrelsies that strike 
The palace-roof and soothe the monarch s pride. 

And such, perhaps, the Spirit, who (if words 
Witnessed by answering deeds may claim our faith) 
Held commune with that warrior-maid of France 
Who scourged the Invader. From her infant days, 
With Wisdom, mother of retired thoughts, 
Her soul had dwelt ; and she was quick to mark 
The good and evil thing, in human lore 
Undisciplined. For lowly was her birth, 
And Heaven had doomed her early years to toil 
That pure from tyranny s least deed, herself 
Unfeared by fellow- natures, she might wait 
On the poor labouring man with kindly looks, 
And minister refreshment to the tired 
Way-wanderer, when along the rough hewn bench 
The sweltry man had stretched him, and aloft 
Vacantly watched the rudely pictured board 
Which on the mulberry-bough with welcome creak 
Swung to the pleasant breeze. Here, too, the Maid 
Learnt more than schools could teach : Man s 

shifting mind, 

His vices and his sorrows ! And full oft 
At tales of cruel wrong and strange distress 
Had wept and shivered. To the tottering eld 
Still as a daughter would she run : she placed 



JUVENILE POEMS. 105 

His cold limbs at the sunny door, and loved 
To hear him story, in his garrulous sort, 
Of his eventful years, all come and gone. 

So twenty seasons past. The Virgin s form, 
Active and tall, nor sloth nor luxury 
Had shrunk orpaled. Her front sublime and broad, 
Her flexile eye-brows wildly haired and low, 
And her full eye, now bright, now unillumed, 
Spake more than Woman s thought ; and all her 

face 

Was moulded to such features as declared 
That pity there had oft and strongly worked, 
And sometimes indignation. Bold her mien, 
And like a haughty huntress of the woods 
She moved : yet sure she was a gentle maid ! 
And in each motion her most innocent soul 
Beamed forth so brightly, that who saw would say 
Guilt was a thing impossible in her ! 
Nor idly would have said for she had lived 
In this bad World, as in a place of tombs, 
And touched not the pollutions of the dead. 

Tvvas the cold season when the rustic s eye 
From the drear desolate whiteness of his fields 
Rolls for relief to watch the skiey tints 
And clouds slow varying their huge imagery ; 
When now, as she was wont, the healthful Maid 
Had left her pallet ere one beam of day 
Slanted the fog-smoke. She went forth alone 



106 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Urged by the indwelling angel-guide, that oft, 
With dim inexplicable sympathies 
Disquieting the heart, shapes out Man s course 
To the predoomed adventure. Now the ascent 
She climbs of that steep upland, on whose top 
The Pilgrim-man, who long since eve had watched 
The alien shine of unconcerning stars, 
Shouts to himself, there first the Abbey-lights 
Seen in Neufchatel s vale ; now slopes adown 
The winding sheep-track vale-ward : when, behold 
In the first entrance of the level road 
An unattended team ! The foremost horse 
Lay with stretched limbs ; the others, yet alive 
But stiff and cold, stood motionless, their manes 
Hoar with the frozen night dews. Dismally 
The dark-red dawn now glimmered; but its gleams 
Disclosed no face of man. The maiden paused, 
Then hailed who might be near. No voice replied. 

From the thwart wain at length there reached her 
ear 

A sound so feeble that it almost seemed 
Distant: and feebly, with slow effort pushed, 
A miserable man crept forth : his limbs 
The silent frost had eat, scathing like fire. 
Faint on the shafts he rested. She, mean time, 
Saw crowded close beneath the coverture 
A mother and her children lifeless all, 
Yet lovely ! not a lineament was marred 
Death had put on so slumber-like a form ! 
It was a piteous sight ; and one, a babe, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 107 

The crisp milk frozen on its innocent lips, 
Lay on the woman s arm, its little hand 
Stretched on her bosom. 

Mutely questioning 1 , 

The Maid gazed wildly at the living wretch. 
He, his head feebly turning, on the group 
Looked with a vacant stare, and his eye spoke 
The drowsy calm that steals on worn-out anguish. 
She shuddered; but, each vainer pang subdued, 
Quick disentangling from the foremost horse 
The rustic bands, with difficulty and toil [rived, 
The stiff cramped team forced homeward. There ar- 
Anxiously tends him she with healing herbs, 
And weeps and prays but the numb power of Death 
Spreads o er his limbs ; and ere the noontide hour, 
The hovering spirits of his wife and babes 
Hail him immortal ! Yet amid his pangs, 
With interruptions long from ghastly throes, 
His voice had faltered out this simple tale. 

The village, where he dwelt a husbandman, 
By sudden inroad had been seized and fired 
Late on the yester-evening. With his wife 
And little ones he hurried his escape. [heard 

They saw the neighbouring hamlets flame, they 
Uproar and shrieks ! and terror-struck drove on 
Through unfrequented roads, a weary way ! 
But saw nor house nor cottage. All had quenched 
Their evening hearth-fire : for the alarm had spread. 



108 JUVENILE POEMS. 

The air clipped keen, the night was fanged with frost, 
And they provisionless ! The weeping- wife 
111 hushed her children s moans ; and still they 

moaned, 
Till fright and cold and hunger drank their life. 

O O 

They closed their eyes in sleep, nor knew twas 

death. 

He only, lashing his o er-wearied team, 
Gained a sad respite, till beside the base 
Of the high hill his foremost horse dropped dead. 
Then hopeless, strengthless, sick for lack of food, 
He crept beneath the coverture, entranced, 
Till wakened by the maiden. Such his tale. 

Ah ! suffering to the height of what was suffere4 
Stung with too keen a sympathy, the Maid 
Brooded with moving lips, mute, startful, dark ! 
And now her flushed tumultuous features shot 
Such strange vivacity, as fires the eye 
Of misery fancy-crazed ! and now once more 
Naked, and void, and fixed, and all within 
The unquiet siience of confused thought 
And shapeless feelings. For a mighty hand 
Was strong upon her, till in the heat of soul 
To the high hill-top tracing back her steps, 
Aside the beacon, up whose smouldered stones 
The tender ivy-trails crept thinly, there, 
Unconscious of the driving element, 
Yea, swallowed up in the ominous dream, she sate 
Ghastly as broad-eyed Slumber ! a dim anguish 



JUVENILE POEMS. 109 

Breathed from her look ! and still with pant and sob, 
Inly she toil d to flee, and still subdued, 
Felt an inevitable Presence near. 

Thus as she toiled in troublous ecstasy, 
A horror of great darkness wrapt her round, 
And a voice uttered forth unearthly tones, 
Calming her soul," O Thou of the Most High 
Chosen, whom all the perfected in Heaven 
Behold expectant 

[The following fragments were intended to form part of 
the poem when finished.] 

11 Maid beloved of Heaven ! 
(To her the tutelary Power exclaimed) 
Of Chaos the adventurous progeny 
Thou seest; foul missionaries of foul sire, 
Fierce to regain the losses of that hour 
When Love rose glittering, and his gorgeous wings 
Over the abyss fluttered with such glad noise, 
As what time after long and pestful calms, 
With slimy shapes and miscreated life 
Poisoning the vast Pacific, the fresh breeze 
Wakens the merchant-sail uprising. Night 
A heavy unimaginable moan 
Sent forth, when she the Protoplast beheld 
Stand beauteous on confusion s charmed wave. 
Moaning she fled, and entered the Profound 
That leads with downward windings to the cave 



1 1 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Of darkness palpable, desert of Death 
Sunk deep beneath Gehenna s massy roots. 
There many a dateless age the beldam lurked 
And trembled ; till engendered by fierce Hate, 
Fierce Hate and gloomy Hope, a Dream arose, 
Shaped like a black cloud marked with streaks of 

fire. 

It roused the Hell-Hag: she the dew damp wiped 
From off her brow, and through the uncouth maze 
Retraced her steps ; but ere she reached the mouth 
Of that drear labyrinth, shuddering she paused, 
Nor dared re-enter the diminished Gulf. 
As through the dark vaults of some mouldered tower 
(Which, fearful to approach, the evening hind 
Circles at distance in his homeward way) 
The winds breathe hollow, deemed the plaining groan 
Of prisoned spirits ; with such fearful voice 
Night murmured, and the sound thro Chaos went. 
Leaped at her call her hideous-fronted brood ! 
A dark behest they heard, and rushed on earth ; 
Since that sad hour, in camps and courts adored, 
Rebels from God, and tyrants o er Mankind !" 



From his obscure haunt 
Shrieked Fear, of Cruelty the ghastly dam, 
Feverous yet freezing, eager-paced yet slow, 
As she that creeps from forth her swampy reeds, 
Ague, the biform hag ! when early Spring 
Beams on the marsh-bred vapours. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 1 1 I 

" Even so (the exulting Maiden said) 
The sainted heralds of good tidings fell, 
And thus they witnessed God ! But now the clouds 
Treading, and storms beneath their feet, they soar 
Higher, and higher soar, and soaring sing 
Loud songs of triumph! O ye spirits of God, 
Hover around my mortal agonies !" 
She spake, and instantly faint melody 
Melts on her ear, soothing and sad, and slow, 
Such measures, as at calmest midnight heard 
By aged hermit in his holy dream, 
Foretell and solace death ; and now they rise 
Louder, as when with harp and mingled voice 
The white-robed 1 multitude of slaughtered saints 

O 

At Heaven s wide-opened portals gratulant 
Receive some martyr d patriot. The harmony 
Entranced the Maid, till each suspended sense 
Brief slumber seized, and confused ecstasy. 

At length awakening slow, she gazed around : 
And through a mist, the relique of that trance 
Still thinning as she gazed, an Isle appeared, 
Its high, o er-hanging, white, broad-breasted cliffs, 

1 Revelations, vi. 9, 11. And when he had opened the 
fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were 
slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they 
held. And white robes were given unto every one of them, 
and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little 
season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, 
that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. 



112 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Glassed on the subject ocean. A vast plain 
Stretched opposite, where ever and anon 
The plough-man following- sad his meagre team 
Turned up fresh sculls unstartled, and the bones 
Of fierce hate-breathing- combatants, who there 
All mingled lay beneath the common earth, 
Death s gloomy reconcilement ! O er the fields 
Ste pt a fair Form, repairing- all she mig-ht, 
Her temples olive-wreathed ; and where she trod, 
Fresh flowerets rose, and many a foodful herb. 
But wan her cheek, her footsteps insecure, 
And anxious pleasure beamed in her faint eye, 
As she had newly left a couch of pain, 
Pale convalescent ! (yet some time to rule 
With power exclusive o er the willing- world, 
That blest prophetic mandate then fulfilled 
Peace be on Earth !) A happy while, but brief, 
She seemed to wander with assiduous feet, 
And healed the recent harm of chill and blight, 
And nursed each plant that fair and virtuous grew. 

But soon a deepprecursive sound moaned hollow : 
Black rose the clouds, and now, (as in a dream) 
Their reddening shapes, transformed to warrior- 
hosts, 

Coursed o er the sky, and battled in mid-air. 
Nor did not the large blood-drops fall from heaven 
Portentous ! while aloft were seen to float, 
Like hideous features booming- on the mist, 
Wan stains of ominous light ! Resigned, yet sad, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 113 

The fair Form bowed her olive-crowned brow, 
Then o er the plain with oft reverted eye 
Fled till a place of tombs she reached, and there 
Within a ruined sepulchre obscure 
Found hiding-place. 

The delegated Maid 

Gazed through her tears, then in sad tones ex 
claimed ; 

" Thou mild-eyed Form ! wherefore, ah ! where 
fore fled ? 

The power of Justice like a name all light, 
Shone from thy brow ; but all they, who unblamed 
Dwelt in thy dwellings, call thee Happiness. 
Ah ! why, uninjured and unprofited, 
Should multitudes against their brethren rush ? 
Why sow they guilt, still reaping misery ? 
Lenient of care, thy songs, O Peace ! are sweet, 
As after showers the perfumed gale of eve, 
That flings the cool drops on a feverous cheek ; 
And gay thy grassy altar piled with fruits. 
But boasts the shrine of demon War one charm, 
Save that with many an orgie strange and foul, 
Dancing around with interwoven arms, 
The maniac Suicide and giant Murder 
Exult in their fierce union ! I am sad, 
And know not why the simple peasants crowd 
Beneath the Chieftains standard !" Thus the Maid. 

To her the tutelary Spirit said : 
VOL: i. i 



114 JUVENILE POEMS. 

"When luxury and lust s exhausted stores 
No more can rouse the appetites of kings ; 
When the low flattery of their reptile lords 
Falls flat and heavy on the accustomed ear ; 
When eunuchs sing-, and fools buffoonery make, 
And dancers writhe their harlot-limbs in vain ; 
Then War and all its dread vicissitudes 
Pleasingly agitate their stagnant hearts ; 
Its hopes, its fears, its victories, its defeats, 
Insipid royalty s keen condiment ! 
Therefore uninjured and unprofited, 
(Victims at once and executioners) 
The congregated husbandmen lay waste 
The vineyard and the harvest. As along 
The Bothnic coast, or southward of the Line, 
Though hushed the winds and cloudless the high 

noon, 

Yet if Leviathan, weary of ease, 
In sports unwieldy toss his island-bulk, 
Ocean behind him billows, and before 
A storm of wavos breaks foamy on the strand. 
And hence, for times and seasons bloody and dark, 
Short Peace shall skin the wounds of causeless War, 
And War, his strained sinews knit anew, 
Still violate the unfinished works of Peace. 
But yonder look ! for more demands thy view !" 
He said : and straightway from the opposite Isle 
A vapour sailed, as when a cloud, exhaled 
From Egypt s fields that steam hot pestilence, 
Travels the sky for many a trackless league, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 11.5 

Till o er some death-doomed land, distant in vain, 
It broods incumbent. Forthwith from the plain, 
Facing 1 the Isle, a brighter cloud arose, 
And steered its course which way the vapour went. 

The Maiden paused, musing- what this might 

mean. 

But long time passed not, ere that brighter cloud 
Returned more bright ; along the plain it swept ; 
And soon from forth its bursting sides emerged 
A dazzling form, broad-bosomed, bold of eye, 
And wild her hair, save where with laurels bound. 
Not more majestic stood the healing God, 
When from his bow the arrow sped that slew 
Huge Python. Shriek d Ambition s giant throng. 
And with them hissed the locust-fiends that crawled 
And glittered in Corruption s slimy track. 
Great was their wrath, for short they knew their 

reign ; 

And such commotion made they, and uproar, 
As when the mad tornado bellows through 
The guilty islands of the western main, 
What time departing from their native shores, 
Eboe, or 1 Koromantyn s plain of palms, 
The infuriate spirits of the murdered make 
Fierce merriment, and vengeance ask of Heaven. 



The Slaves in the West-Indies consider death as a 
passport to their native country This sentiment is thus 
expressed in the introduction to a Greek Prize-Ode on the 



116 JUVENILE POEMS. 

Warmed with new influence, the unwholesome plain 
Sent up its foulest fogs to meet the morn : 
The Sun that rose on Freedom, rose in blood ! 

" Maiden beloved, and Delegate of Heaven ! 
(To her the tutelary Spirit said) 

Slave-Trade, of which the thoughts are better than the lan 
guage in which they are conveyed. 

"*Q GKOTOU TTvXttQ QdvCLTt, TTpoXflTTWV 

Eg yivoQ GTrtv^oiq VTr 
Ov Z,Evicr9f)(ry -ysvvwv 
O 

AXXd Kal KVK\Olffl 

K atTyudrwv % 
AXX 6/iu) E 



t. Tvpavvt ! 



kiri 



A ! SaXdacriov KaOop&VTet; ol(jfj,a 
Ai 0p07rXayicroie VTTO TTOCTCT avtlci 



ITT alav. 



*Ev9a pav "Epacrat 

Afj.(pi TTfjyycnv wirpivwv VTT 

VTTO j3pOTO~l tTTdOoV fipOTOl, TO. 

d \kyovrt. 



LITERAL TRANSLATION. 

Leaving the gates of darkness, Death! hasten thou 
to a race yoked with misery ! Thou wilt not be received 
with lacerations of cheeks, nor with funeral ululation but 
with circling dances and the joy of songs. Thou art terri 
ble indeed, yet thou dwellest with Liberty, stern Genius ! 
Borne on thy dark pinions over the swelling of Ocean, they 
return to their native country. There, by the side of foun 
tains beneath citron-groves, the lovers tell to their beloved 
what horrors, being men, they had endured from men. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



117 



Soon shall the morning struggle into day, 
The stormy morning into cloudless noon. 
Much hast thou seen, nor all canst understand 
But this be thy hest omen Save thy Country ! " 
Thus saying, from the answering Maid he passed, 
And with him disappeared the heavenly Vision. 

" Glory to Thee, Father of Earth and Heaven! 
All conscious presence of the Universe ! 
Nature s vast ever-acting energy ! 
In will, in deed, impulse of All to All ! 
Whether thy Love with unrefracted ray 
Beam on the Prophet s purged eye, or if 
Diseasing realms the enthusiast, wild of thought, 
Scatter new frenzies on the infected throng, 
Thou both inspiring and predooming both, 
Fit instruments and best, of perfect end : 
Glory to Thee, Father of Earth and Heaven ! " 



And first a landscape rose 
More wild and waste and desolate than where 
The white bear, drifting on a field of ice, 
Howls to her sundered cubs with piteous rage 
And savage agony. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

I. POEMS OCCASIONED BY POLITICAL EVENTS 

OR FEELINGS CONNECTED 

WITH THEM. 



WHEN I have borne in memory what has tamed 

Great nations, how ennobling thoughts depart 

When men change swords for ledgers, and desert 

The student s bower for gold, some fears unnamed 

I had, my country ! Am I to be blamed ! 

But, when I think of Thee, and what thou art, 

Verily, in the bottom of my heart, 

Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed. 

But dearly must we prize thee ; we who find 

In thee a bulwark of the cause of men ; 

And I by my affection was beguiled. 

What wonder if a poet, now and then, 

Among the many movements of his mind, 

Felt for thee as a Lover or a Child. 

WORDSWORTH. 



ODE TO THE DEPARTING YEAR. 1 

f-rt ^ ** 

lOV, 10V, bi to KCCKCC. 

dtivo 6pSrofj,avTeia(; 
T, rapdaaiav typotpioig i 



av 



To fieXXov ?]%ei. Kat av fj, Iv ra^ei 
"Ayav y a\r]96p.avTiv oiKTtipag spetg. 

JEschyl. Agam. 1225. 

ARGUMENT. 

THE Ode commences with an address to the Divine Pro 
vidence, that regulates into one vast harmony all the events 
of time, however calamitous some of them may appear to 
mortals. The second Strophe calls on men to suspend their 
private joys and sorrows, and devote them for a while to the 
cause of human nature in general. The first Epode speaks 
of the Empress of Russia, who died of an apoplexy on the 
17th of November, 1796 ; having just concluded a sub 
sidiary treaty with the Kings combined against France- 
The first and second Antistrophe describe the Image of the 
Departing Year, &c. as in a vision. The second Epode 
prophecies, in an guish of spirit, the downfall of this 
country. 

I. 

SPIRIT who sweepest the wild harp of Time ! 
It is most hard, with an untroubled ear 
Thy dark inwoven harmonies to hear! 

1 This Ode was composed on the 24th, 25th, and 26th 
days of December, 1796: and was first published on the 
last day of that year. 



122 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Yet, mine^eye fixed on Heaven s unchanging 1 clime, 
Long had I listened, free from mortal fear, 

With inward stillness, and a bowed mind ; 

When lo ! its folds far waving on the wind, 
I saw the train of the departing Year ! 

Starting from my silent sadness 

Then with no unholy madness 
Ere yet the entered cloud foreclosed my sight, 
I raised the impetuous song, and solemnized his 
flight, 

ii. 

Hither, from the recent tomb, 

From the prison s direr gloom, 
From distemper s midnight anguish ; 
And thence, where poverty doth waste and languish ! 
Or where, his two bright torches blending, 

Love illumines manhood s maze ; 
Or where o er cradled infants bending 
Hope has fixed her wishful gaze ; 

Hither, in perplexed dance, 
Ye Woes ! ye young-eyed Joys ! advance ! 

By Time s wild harp, and by the hand 

Whose indefatigable sweep 

Raises its fateful strings from sleep, 
T bid you haste, a mixed tumultuous band ! 

From every private bower, 
And each domestic hearth, 

Haste for one solemn hour ; 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 123 

And with a loud and yet a louder voice, 
O er Nature struggling- in portentous birth, 

Weep and rejoice ! 

Still echoes the dread name that o er the earth 
Let slip the storm, and woke the brood of Hell : 

And now advance in saintly jubilee 
Justice and Truth ! They too have heard thy spell, 
They too obey thy name, divinest Liberty ! 

IP- 

I marked Ambition in his war-array ! 

I heard the mailed Monarch s troublous cry 
" Ah ! wherefore does the Northern Conqueress 

stay ! 
Groans not her chariot on its onward way ?" 

Fly, mailed Monarch, fly ! 
Stunned by Death s twice mortal mace, 
No more on murder s lurid face 
The insatiate hag shall gloat with drunken eye ! 
Manes of the unnumbered slain ! 
Ye that gasped on Warsaw s plain ! 
Ye that erst at Ismail s tower, 
When human ruin choked the streams, 

Fell in conquest s glutted hour, 
Mid women s shrieks and infants screams ! 
Spirits of the uncoffined slain, 

Sudden blasts of triumph swelling, 
Oft, at night, in misty train, 

Rush around her narrow dwelling ! 
The exterminating fiend is fled 



124 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

(Foul her life, and dark her doom) 
Mighty armies of the dead 

Dance, like death-fires, round her tomb ! 
Then with prophetic song relate, 
Each some tyrant-murderer s fate ! 

IV. 

Departing Year ! twas on no earthly shore 
My soul beheld thy vision ! Where alone, 
Voiceless and stern, before the cloudy throne, 
Aye Memory sits : thy robe inscribed with gore, 
With many an unimaginable groan 

Thou storied st thy sad hours ! Silence ensued, 
Deep silence o er the ethereal multitude, 
Whose locks with wreaths, whose wreaths with 

glories shone. 

Then, his eye wild ardours glancing, 
From the choired gods advancing, 
The Spirit of the Earth made reverence meet, 
And stood up, beautiful, before the cloudy seat. 

v. 

Throughout the blissful throng, 

Hushed were harp and song : 
Till wheeling round the throne the Lampads seven, 

(The mystic Words of Heaven) 

Permissive signal make : [spake ! 

The fervent Spirit bowed, then spread his wings and 
" Thou in stormy blackness throning 

Love and uncreated Light, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 125 



By the Earth s unsolaced groaning 1 , 
Seize thy terrors, Arm of might ! 
By peace with proffered insult scared, 
Masked hate and envying scorn ! 
By years of havoc yet unborn ! 
And hunger s bosom to the frost- winds bared \ 
But chief by Afric s wrongs, 

Strange, horrible, and foul ! 
By what deep guilt belongs 
To the deaf Synod, full of gifts and lies ! 
By wealth s insensate laugh ! by torture s howl ! 

Avenger, rise ! 

For ever shall the thankless Island scowl, 
Her quiver full, and with unbroken bow ? 
Speak ! from thy storm-black Heaven speak aloud ! 

And on the darkling foe 
Open thine eye of fire from some uncertain cloud ! 

O dart the flash ! O rise and deal the blow ! 
The Past to thee, to thee the Future cries ! 

Hark ! how wide Nature joins her groans below ! 
Rise, God of Nature ! rise." 

VI. 

The voice had ceased, the vision fled ; 
Yet still I gasped and reeled with dread. 
And ever, when the dream of night 
Renews the phantom to my sight, 
Cold sweat-drops gather on my limbs ; 

My ears throb hot ; my eye-balls start ; 
My brain with horrid tumult swims ; 



126 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Wild is the tempest of my heart ; 
And my thick and struggling breath 
Imitates the toil of death ! 
No stranger agony confounds 

The soldier on the war-field spread, 
When all foredone with toil and wounds, 

Death-like he dozes among heaps of dead ! 
(The strife is o er, the day-light fled, 

And the night-wind clamours hoarse ! 
See ! the starting wretch s head 

Lies pillowed on a brother s corse !) 

VII. 

Not yet enslaved, not wholly vile, 
O Albion ! O my mother Isle ! 
Thy valleys, fair as Eden s bowers, 
Glitter green with sunny showers ; 
Thy grassy uplands gentle swells 

Echo to the bleat of flocks ; 
(Those grassy hills, those glittering dells 

Proudly ramparted with rocks) 
And Ocean mid his uproar wild 
Speaks safety to his island-child, 

Hence for many a fearless age 

Has social Quiet loved thy shore ; 
Nor ever proud invader s rage 
Or sacked thy towers, or stained thy fields with gore. 

VIII. 

Abandoned of Heaven ! mad avarice thy guide, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 127 

At cowardly distance, yet kindling- with pride 
Mid thy herds and thy corn-fields secure thou hast 

stood, 

And joined the wild yelling- of famine and blood ! 
The nations curse thee ! They with eager wonderin- 

Shall hear Destruction, like a vulture, scream ! 

Strang-e-eyed Destruction ! who with many a 

dream 
Of central fires through nether seas upthundering- 

Soothes her fierce solitude ; yet as she lies 
By livid fount, or red volcanic stream, 

If ever to her lidless dragon-eyes, 

O Albion ! thy predestined ruins rise, 
The fiend-hag- on her perilous couch doth leap, 
Muttering- distempered triumph in her charmed 
sleep 



IX. 



Away, my soul, away ! 
In vain, in vain the birds of warning sing 
And hark ! I hear the famished brood of prey 
Flap their lank pennons on the groaning- wind ! 

Away, my soul, away ! 
I unpartaking o f the evil thing, 
With daily prayer and daily toil 
Soliciting for food my scanty soil, 
Have wailed my country with a loud Lament. 
Now I recentre my immortal mind 

In the deep sabbath of meek self-content ; 
Cleansed from the vaporous passions that bedim 
God s Image, sister of the Seraphim. 



128 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



FRANCE. AN ODE. 

I. 

YE Clouds ! that far above me float and pause, 

Whose pathless march no mortal may control! 

Ye Ocean-Waves ! that, wheresoe er ye roll, 
Yield homage only to eternal laws ! 
Ye Woods ! that listen to the night-birds singing, 

Midway the smooth and perilous slope reclined, 
Save when your own imperious branches swinging, 

Have made a solemn music of the wind ! 
Where, like a man beloved of God, 
Through glooms, which never woodman trod, 

How oft, pursuing fancies holy, 
My moonlight way o er flowering weeds I wound, 

Inspired, beyond the guess of folly, 
By each rude shape and wild unconquerable sound ! 
O ye loud Waves ! and ye Forests high ! 

And O ye Clouds that far above me soared ! 
Thou rising Sun ! thou blue rejoicing Sky ! 

Yea, every thing that is and will be free ! 

Bear witness for me, wheresoe er ye be, 

With what deep worship I have still adored 
The spirit of divinest Liberty. 

ii. 

When France in wrath her giant-limbs upreared, 
And with that oath, which smote air, earth and sea, 



SIBY1 LINE LE/LVES. 129 

Stamped her strong foot and said she would be 

free, 

Bear witness for me, how I hoped and feared ! 
With what a joy my lofty gratulation 

Unawed I sang, amid a slavish band : 
And when to whelm the disenchanted nation, 

Like fiends embattled by a wizard s wand, 
The Monarchs marched in evil day. 
And Britain joined the dire array; 

Though dear her shores and circling ocean, 
Though many friendships, many youthful loves 

Had swol n the patriot emotion 
And flung a magic light o er all her hills and groves ; 
Yet still my voice, unaltered, sang defeat 

To all that braved the tyrant-quelling lance, 
And shame too long delayed and vain retreat ! 
For ne er, Liberty ! with partial aim 
I dimmed thy light or damped thy holy flame ; 

But blessed the paeans of delivered France, 
And hung my head and wept at Britain s name. 

in. 

" And what," I said, " though Blasphemy s loud 

scream 

With that sweet music of deliverance strove ! 
Though all the fierce and drunken passions wove 
A dance more wild than e er was maniac s dream ! 
Ye storms, that round the dawning east assem 
bled, 

The Sun was rising, though ye hid his light ! " 
VOL. i. K 



1 30 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

And when, to soothe my soul, that hoped and 

trembled, [bright ; 

The dissonance ceased, and all seemed calm and 
When France her front deep-scarr d and gory 
Concealed with clustering 1 wreaths of glory i 

When, insupportably advancing, 
Her arm made mockery of the warrior s tramp ; 

While timid looks of fury glancing, 
Domestic treason, crushed beneath her fatal 

stamp, 
Writhed like a wounded dragon in his gore ; 

Then I reproached my fears that would not flee ; 
" And soon," I said, " shall Wisdom teach her lore 
In the low huts of them that toil and groan ! 
And, conquering by her happiness alone, 

Shall France compel the nations to be free, 
Till Love and Joy look round, and call the Earth 
their own." 

IV. 

Forgive me, Freedom ! O forgive those dreams ! 

I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament, 

From bleak Helvetia s icy cavern sent 
I hear thy groans upon her blood-stained streams I 

Heroes, that for your peaceful country perished, 
And ye that, fleeing, spot your mountain-snows 

With bleeding wounds ; forgive me, that I che 
rished 
One thought that ever blessed your cruel foes ! 

To scatter rage, and traitorous guilt, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 131 

Where Peace her jealous home had built ; 

A patriot-race to disinherit 
Of all that made their stormy wilds so dear ; 

And with inexpiable spirit 

To- taint the bloodless freedom of the mountaineer 
O France, that mockest Heaven, adulterous, blind, 

v 

And patriot only in pernicious toils, 
Are these thy boasts, Champion -of human kind ? 

To mix with Kings in the low lust of sway, 
Yell in the hunt, and share the murderous prey 
To insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils 

From freemen torn ; to tempt and to betray ? 

v-. 

The Sensual and the Dark rebel in vain, 
Slaves by their own compulsion I In mad game 
They burst their manacles and wear the name 

Of Freedom, graven on a heavier chain ! 
O Liberty ! with profitless endeavour 
Have t pursued thee, many a weary hour ; 

But thou nor swell st the victor s strain, nor ever 
Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human power. 
Alike from all, howe er they praise thee, 
(Nor prayer, nor boastful name delays thee) 

Alike from Priestcraft s harpy minions, 
And factious Blasphemy s obscener slaves, 

Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions, 
The guide of homeless winds, and playmate of the 

waves ! 
And there I felt thee ! on that sea-cliff" s verge, 



132 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Whose pines, scarce travelled by the breeze 

above, 

Had made one murmur with the distant surge ! 

Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare, 

And shot my being through earth, sea and air, 

Possessing all things with intensest love, 

Liberty ! my spirit felt thee there. 

February, 1797. 



FEARS IN SOLITUDE. 

WRITTEN IN APRIL, 1798, DURING THE ALARM 
OF AN INVASION. 

A GREEN and silent spot, amid the hills, 

A small and silent dell ! O er stiller place 

No singing sky-lark ever poised himself. 

The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope, 

Which hath a gay and gorgeous covering on, 

All golden with the never-bloomless furze, 

Which now blooms most profusely : but the dell, 

Bathed by the mist, is fresh and delicate 

As vernal corn-field, or the unripe flax, 

When, through its half- transparent stalks, at eve, 

The level sunshine glimmers with green light. 

Oh ! tis a quiet spirit-healing nook I 

Which all, methinks, would love ; but chiefly he, 

The humble man, who, in his youthful years, 

Knew just so much of folly, as had made 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 133 

His early manhood more securely wise ! 
Here he might lie on fern or withered heath, 
While from the singing-lark (that sings unseen 
The minstrelsy that solitude loves best,) 
And from the sun, and from the breezy air, . 
Sweet influences trembled o er his frame ; 
And he, with many feelings, many thoughts, 
Made up a meditative joy, and found 
Religious meanings in the forms of nature ! 
And so, his senses gradually wrapt 
In a half sleep, he dreams of better worlds, 
And dreaming hears thee still, O singing-lark ; 
That singest like an angel in the clouds ! 

My God ! it is a melancholy thing 
For such a man, who would full fain preserve 
His soul in calmness, yet perforce must feel 
For all his human brethren O my God ! 
It weighs upon the heart, that he must think 
What uproar and what strife may now be stirring 
This way or that way o er these silent hills 
Invasion, and the thunder and the shout, 
And all the crash of onset ; fear and rage, 
And undetermined conflict even now, 
Even now, perchance, and in his native isle : 
Carnage and groans beneath this blessed sun ! 
We have offended, Oh ! my countrymen ! 
We have offended vely grievously, 
And been most tvrannous. From east to west 

w 

A groan of accusation pierces Heaven ! 



134 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

The wretched plead against us ; multitudes 

Countless and vehement, the sons of God, 

Our brethren ! Like a cloud that travels on, 

Steamed up from Cairo s swamps of pestilence 

Even so, my countrymen ! have we gone forth 

And borne to distant tribes slavery and pangs, 

And, deadlier far, our vices, whose deep taint 

With slow perdition murders the whole man, 

His body and his soul ! Meanwhile, at home, 

All individual dignity and power 

Engulfed in courts, committees, institutions, 

Associations and societies, 

A vain, speech-mouthing, speech-reporting guild, 

One benefit-club for mutual flattery, 

We have drunk up, demure as at a grace, 

Pollutions from the brimming cup of wealth ; 

Contemptuous of all honourable rule, 

Yet bartering freedom and the poor man s life 

For gold, as at a market ! The sweet words 

Of Christian promise, words that even yet 

Might stem destruction, were they wisely preached, 

Are muttered o er by men, whose tones proclaim 

How flat and wearisome they feel their trade : 

Rank scoffers some, but most too indolent 

To deem them falsehoods or to know their truth. 

Oh ! blasphemous ! the book of life is made 

A superstitious, instrument, on which 

We gabble o er the oaths we mean to break ; 

For all must swear all and in every place, 

College and wharf, council and justice-court ; 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 135 

All, all must swear, the briber and the bribed, 
Merchant and lawyer, senator and priest, 
The rich, the poor, the old man and the young- ; 
All, all make up one scheme of perjury, 
That faith doth reel ; the very name of God 
Sounds like a juggler s charm ; and, bold with joy, 
Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place, 
(Portentous sight !) the owlet Atheism, 
Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon, 
Drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close, 
And hooting at the glorious sun in Heaven, 
Cries out, " Where is it ?" 

Thankless too for peace, 

(Peace long preserved by fleets and perilous seas) 
Secure from actual warfare, we have loved 
To swell the war-whoop, passionate for war ! 
Alas ! for ages ignorant of all 
Its ghastlier workings, (famine or blue plague, 
Battle, or siege, or flight through wintry-snows,) 
We, this whole people, have been clamorous 
For war and bloodshed ; animating sports, 
The which we pay for as a thing to talk of. 
Spectators and not combatants ! No guess 
Anticipative of a wrong unfelt, 
No speculation or contingency, 
However dim and vague, too vague and dim 
To yield a justifying cause ; and forth, 
(Stuffed out with big preamble, holy names, 
And adjurations of the God in Heaven,) 



136 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

We send our mandates for the certain death 
Of thousands and ten thousands ! Boys and girls, 
And women, that would groan to see a child 
Pull off an insect s leg, all read of war, 
The best amusement for our morning-meal ! 

O 

The poor wretch, who has learnt his only prayers 

From curses, who knows scarcely words enough 

To ask a blessing from his Heavenly Father, 

Becomes a fluent phraseman, absolute 

And technical in victories and defeats, 

And all our dainty terms for fratricide ; 

Terms which we trundle smoothly o er our tongues 

Like mere abstractions, empty sounds to which 

We join no feeling and attach no form ! 

As if the soldier died without a wound ; 

As if the fibres of this godlike frame 

Were gored without a pang ; as if the wretch, 

Who fell in battle, doing bloody deeds, 

Passed off to Heaven, translated and not killed ; 

As though he had no wife to pine for him, 

No God to judge him ! Therefore, evil days 

Are coming on us, O my countrymen ! 

And what if all-avenging Providence, 

Strong and retributive, should make us know 

The meaning of our words, force us to feel 

The desolation and the agony 

Of our fierce doings ! 

/ 

Spare us yet awhile, 

Father and God ! O ! spare us yet awhile ! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 137 

Oh ! let not English women drag- their flight 
Fainting beneath the burthen of their babes, 
Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday 
Laughed at the breast ! Sons, brothers, husbands, all 
Who ever gazed with fondness on the forms 
Which grew up with you round the same fire-side, 
And all who ever heard the sabbath-bells 
Without the infidel s scorn, make yourselves pure ! 
Stand forth ! be men ! repel an impious foe, 
Impious and false, a light yet cruel race, 
Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth 
With deeds of murder ; and still promising 
Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free, 
Poison life s amities, and cheat the heart 
Of faith and quiet hope, and all that soothes 
And all that lifts the spirit ! Stand we forth ; 
Render them back upon the insulted ocean, 
And let them toss as idly on its waves 
As the vile sea- weed, which some mountain-blast 
Swept from our shores ! And oh ! may we return 
Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear, 
Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung 
So fierce a foe to frenzy ! 

I have told, 

O Britons ! O my brethren ! I have told 
Most bitter truth, but without bitterness. 
Nor deem my zeal or factious or mis-timed ; 
For never can true courage dwell with them, 
Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look 



f 38 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

At their own vices. We have been too long 

Dupes of a deep delusion ! Some, belike, 

Groaning- "with restless enmity, expect 

All change from change of constituted power ; 

As if a Government had been a robe, 

On which our vice and wretchedness were tagged 

Like fancy-points and fringes, with the robe 

Pulled off at pleasure. Fondly these attach 

A radical causation to a few 

Poor drudges of chastising Providence, 

Who borrow all their hues and qualities 

From our own folly and rank wickedness, 

Which gave them birth and nursed them. Others, 

meanwhile, 

Dote with a mad idolatry ; and all 
Who will not fall before their images, 
And yield them worship, they are enemies 
Even of their country ! 

Such have I been deemed 
But, O dear Britain ! my Mother Isle ! 
Needs must thou prove a name most dear and holy 
To me, a son, a brother, and a friend, 
A husband, and a father ! who revere 
All bonds of natural love, and find them all 
Within the limits of thy rocky shores. 
O native Britain ! O my Mother Isle ! 
How shouldst thou prove aught else but dear and 

holy 
To me, who from thy lakes and mountain-hills, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 139 

Thy clouds, thy quiet dales, thy rocks and seas, 
Have drunk in all my intellectual life, 
All sweet sensations, all ennobling- thoughts-, 
All adoration of the God in nature, 
All lovely and all honourable thing s, 
Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel 
The joy and greatness of its future being ? 
There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul 
Unborrowed from my country. O divine 
And beauteous island ! thou hast been my sole 
And most magnificent temple, in the which 
I walk with awe, and sing my stately songs, 
Loving the God that made me ! 

May my fears, 

My filial fears, be vain ! and may the vaunts 
And menace of the vengeful enemy 
Pass like the gust, that roared and died away 
In the distant tree : which heard, and only heard 
In this low dell, bowed not the delicate grass 

But now the gentle dew-fall sends abroad 
The fruit-like perfume of the golden furze : 
The light has left the summit of the hill, 
Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful, 
Aslant the ivied beacon. Now farewell, 
Farewell, awhile, O soft and silent spot ! 
On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill, 
Homeward I wind my way ; and lo ! recalled 
From bodings that have well nigh wearied me 



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l.LA\ 141 



1 IHi:, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER 

A WAR ECLOGUE. WITH AN APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 1 

The Scene a desolated Tract in la Vendee. 

FA MINI: is discovered lying on the ground ; 

to her enter Fiui. and SLAUGHTER. 

/ /////. SIVH.RS ! sisters ! who sent you here ? 

Slau. [to Fire]. 1 will whisper it in her ear. 

/ ire. No ! no ! no ! 
Spirits hear what spirits tell : 
"1 uill hinl.i- u holiday in Hell. 

No ! no ! no ! 

Myself, I named him once helow, 
And all the souls, that damned he, 
Leaped up at. once in anarchy, 
( lapped their hands and danced for glee. 
They no longer heeded me ; 
Hut laughed to hear Hell s burning- rafters 
I n willingly re-echo laughters! 

No ! no ! no ! 

Spirits hear what spirits tell : 
"I uili make a holiday in Hell ! 

Fam. Whisper it, sister ! so and so ! 
In a dark hint, soft and slow. 

1 Printed at the end of this volume. 



142 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Slau. Letters four do form his name 
And who sent you ? 

Both. * The same ! the same ! 

Slau. He came by stealth, and unlocked my den, 
And I have drunk the blood since then 
Of thrice three hundred thousand men. 

Both. Who bade you do it? 

Slau. The same ! the same ! 

Letters four do form his name. 
He let me loose, and cried Halloo I 
To him alone the praise is due. 

Fam. Thanks, sister, thanks ! the men Lave 

bled, 

Their wives and their children faint for bread. 
I stood in a swampy field of battle ; 
With bones and skulls I made a rattle, 
To frighten the wolf and carrion-crow 
And the homeless dog but they would not go. 
So off I flew : for how could I bear 
To see them gorge their dainty fare ? 
I heard a groan and a peevish squall, 
And through the chink of a cottage-wall 
Can you guess what I saw there ? 

Both. Whisper it, sister ! in our ear. 

Fam. A baby beat its dying mother : 
I had starved the one and was starving the other ! 

Both. Who bade you do t ? 

Fam. The same ! the same ! 

Letters four do form his name. 
He let me loose^ and cried, Halloo ! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 143 

To him alone the praise is due. 

Fire. Sisters ! I from Ireland came ! 
Hedge and corn-fields all on flame , 
I triumphed o er the setting sun ! 
And all the while the work was done, 
On as I strode with my huge strides, 
I flung back my head and I held my sides, 
It was so rare a piece of fun 
To see the sweltered cattle run 
With uncouth gallop through the night, 
Scared by the red and noisy light ! 
By the light of his own blazing cot 
Was many a naked rebel shot : 
The house-stream met the flame and hissed, 
While crash ! fell in the roof, I wist, 
On some of those old bed-rid nurses, 
That deal in discontent and curses. 
Both. Who bade you do t ? 
Fire. The same ! the same I 

Letters four do form his name. 
He let me loose, and cried Halloo ! 
To him alone the praise is due. 

All. He let us loose, and cried Halloo ! 
How shall we yield him honour due ? 

Fam. Wisdom comes with lack of food. 
I ll gnaw, I ll gnaw the multitude, 
Till the cup of rage o erbrim : 
They shall seize him and his brood 

Slau. They shall tear him limb from limb 1 
Fire. Q thankless beldames and untrue 1 



J 44 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

And is this all that you can do 
For him, who did so much for you ? 
Ninety months he, by my troth ! 
Hath richly catered for you both ; 
And in an hour would you repay 
An eight years work ? Away ! away ! 
I alone am faithful ! I 
Cling 1 to him everlastingly. 

1796. 



II. LOVE POEMS. 

Quas humilis tenero stylus olim eftudit in aevo, 

Perlegis hie lacrymas, et quod pharetratus acuta 

Ille puer puero fecit mihi cuspide vulnus. 

Omnia paulatim consurait longior aetas, 

Vivendoque simul morimur, rapimurque manendo. 

Ipse mihi collatus enim non ille videbor : 

Frons alia est, moresque alii, nova mentis imago, 

Voxque aliud sonat 

Pectore nunc gelido calidos miseremur amantes, 

Jamque arsisse pudet. Veteres tranquilla tumultus 

Mans horret, relegensque alium putat ista locutum. 

PETRARCH. 

LOVE. 

ALL thoughts, all passions, all delights, 
Whatever stirs this mortal frame. 
All are but ministers of Love, 
And feed his sacred flame. 

Oft in my waking dreams do I 
Live o er again that happy hour, 
When midway on the mount I lay, 
Beside the ruined tower. 

The moonshine, stealing o er the scene 
Had hlended with the lights of eve ; 
VOL. i. L 



146 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

And she was there, my hope, my joy, 
My own dear Genevieve ! 

She lean d against the armed man, 
The statue of the armed knight ; 
She stood and listened to my lay, 
Amid the lingering light. 

Few sorrows hath she of her own. 
My hope ! my joy ! my Genevieve ! 
She loves me best, whene er I sing; 
The songs that make her grieve. 

I played a soft and doleful air, 
I sang an old and moving story 
An old rude song, that suited well 
That ruin wild and hoary. 

She listened with a flitting blusn. 
With downcast eyes and modest grace ; 
For well she knew, I could not choose 
But gaze upon her face. 

I told her of the Knight that wore 
Upon his shield a burning brand ; 
And that for ten long years he wooed 
The Lady of the Land. 

^ 

I told her how he pined : and ah ! 
The deep, the low, the pleading tone 



SIBYLLIlvE LEAVES. 147 

With which I sang another s love, 
Interpreted my own. 

She listened with a flitting- blush, 
With downcast eyes, and modest grace ; 
And she forgave me, that I gazed 
Too fondly on her face ! 

But when I told the cruel scorn 
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight, 
And that he crossed the mountain- woods, 
Nor rested day nor night ; 

That sometimes from the savage den, 
And sometimes from the darksome shade, 
And sometimes starting up at once 
In green and sunny glade, 

There came and looked him in the face 
An angel beautiful and bright ; 
And that he knew it was a Fiend, 
This miserable Knight ! 



And that unknowing what he did, 
He leaped amid a murderous band, 
And saved from outrage worse than death 
The Lady of the Land ; 

And how she wept, and clasped his knees ; 
And how she tended him in vain 



148 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

And ever strove to expiate 

The scorn that crazed his brain ; 

And that she nursed him in a cave ; 
And how his madness went away, 
When on the yellow forest-leaves 

A dying 1 man he lay ; 



His clvinp* words but when I reached 

* c? 

That tenderest strain of all the ditty, 
My faltering- voice and pausing- harp 
Disturbed her soul with pity ! 

All impulses of soul and sense 
Had thrilled my g-uileless Genevievfe ; 
The music and the doleful tale, 
The rich and balmy eve ; 

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope, 
An undistinguishable throng-, 
And gentle wishes long subdued, 
Subdued and cherished long ! 

She wept with pity and delight, 
She blushed with love, and virgin shame ; 
And like the murmur of a dream, 
I heard her breathe my name. 

Her bosom heaved she stepped aside, 
As conscious of my look she stept 






SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 149 

Then suddenly, with timorous eye 
She fled to me and wept. 

She half inclosed me with her arms, 
She pressed me with a meek embrace ; 
And bending back her head, looked up, 
And gazed upon my face. 

Twas partly love, and partly fear. 
And partly twas a bashful art, 
That I might rather feel, than see, 
The swelling of her heart. 

I calmed her fears, and she was calm. 
And told her love with virgin pride ; 
And so I won my Gene vie ve, 

My bright and beauteous Bride. 



150 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



THE BALLAD OF THE DARK LAD1E. 

A FRAGMENT. 

BENEATH yon birch with silver bark, 
And boughs so pendulous arid fair, 
The brook falls scatter d down the rock : 
And all is mossy there ! 

And there upon the moss she sits, 
The Dark Ladie in silent pain ; 
The heavy tear is in her eye, 

And drops and swells again. 

Three times she sends her little page 
Up the castled mountain s breast, 
If he might find the Knight that wears 
The Griffin for his crest. 

The sun was sloping down the sky, 
And she had lingered there all day, 
Counting moments, dreaming fears 
O wherefore can he stay ? 

She hears a rustling o er the brook, 
She sees far off a swinging bough ! 
" Tis He! Tis my betrothed Knight! 
Lord Falkland, it is Thou!" 

She springs, she clasps him round the neck, 
She feobs a thousand hopes and fears, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 151 

Her kisses glowing on his cheeks 
She quenches with her tears. 

***** 

" My friends with rude ungentle words 
They scoff and bid me fly to thee ! 

give me shelter in thy breast! 

O shield and shelter me ! 

" My Henry, I have given thee much, 

1 gave what I can ne er recall, 

I gave my heart, I gave my peace, 
O Heaven ! I gave thee all." 

The Knight made answer to the Maid, 
While to his heart he held her hand, 
" Nine castles hath my noble sire, 
None statelier in the land. 

" The fairest one shall be my love s, 
The fairest castle of the nine ! 
Wait only till the stars peep out, 
The fairest shall be thine : 

" Wait only till the hand of eve 
Hath wholly closed yon western bars, 
And through the dark we two will steal 
Beneath the twinkling stars !" 

" The dark? the dark? No! not the dark? 
The twinkling stars ? How, Henry ? How ? 
O God ! twas in the eye of noon 
He pledged his sacred vow! 



1 52 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

" And in the eye of noon, my love, 
Shall lead me from my mother s door, 
Sweet boys and girls all clothed in white 
Strewing flow rs before : 

" But first the nodding- minstrels go 
With music meet for lordly bow rs, 
The children next in snow-white vests, 
Strewing buds and flow rs ! 



l 4 



And then my love and I shall pace, 
My jet black hair in pearly braids, 
Between our comely bachelors 
And blushing bridal maids." 



LEWTI, 

OR THE CIRCASSIAN LOVE-CHAUNT. 

AT midnight by the stream I roved, 
To forget the form I loved. 
Image of Lewti ! from my mind 
Depart ; for Lewti is not kind. 

The Moon was high, the moonlight gleam 

And the shadow of a star 
Heaved upon Tamaha s stream ; 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 153 

But the rock shone brighter far, 
The rock half sheltered from my view 
By pendent boughs of tr^ssy yew 
So shines my Lewti s forehead fair, 
Gleaming- through her sable hair. 
Image of Lewti ! from my mind 
Depart ; for Lewti is not kind. 
I saw a cloud of palest hue, 

Onward to the moon it passed ; 
Still brighter and more bright it grew, 
With floating colours not a few, 

Till it reached the moon at last : 
Then the cloud was wholly bright, 
With a rich and amber light ! 
And so with many a hope I seek, 

And with such joy I find my Lewti ; 
And even so my pale w r an cheek 

Drinks in as deep a flush of beauty ! 
Nay, treacherous image ! leave my mind. 
If Lewti never will be kind. 

The little cloud it floats away, 

Away it goes ; away so soon ? 
Alas ! it has no power to stay : 
Its hues are dim, its hues are grey 

Away it passes from the moon ! 
How mournfully it seems to fly, 

Ever fading more and more, 
To joyless regions of the sky 

And now tis whiter than before ! 



154 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

As white as my poor cheek will be, 

When, Lewti ! on my couch I lie, 
A dying man for love of thee. 
Nay, treacherous image ! leave my mind 
And yet, thou did st not look unkind. 

I saw a vapour in the sky, 

Thin, and white, and very high; 
I ne er beheld so thin a cloud : 

Perhaps the breezes that can fly 

Now below and now above, 
Have snatched aloft the lawny shroud 

Of Lady fair that died for love. 
For maids, as well as youths, have perished 
From fruitless love too fondly cherished. 
Nay, treacherous image ! leave my mind 
For Lewti never will be kind. 

Hush ! my heedless feet from under 
Slip the crumbling banks for ever : 

Like echoes to a distant thunder, 
They plunge into the gentle river. 

The river- swans have heard my tread, 

And startle from their reedy bed. 

O beauteous birds ! methinks ye measure 
Your movements to some heavenly tune ! 

beauteous birds ! tis such a pleasure 
To see you move beneath the moon, 

1 would it were your true delight 
To sleep by day and wake all night. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 155 

i 

I know the place where Lewti lies, 
When silent night has closed her eyes : 

It is a breezy jasmine-bower, 
The nio;htmc:ale sings o er her head : 

o o o 

Voice of the night ! had I the power 
That leafy labyrinth to thread, 
And creep, like thee, with soundless tread, 
I then might view her bosom white 
Heaving lovely to my sight, 
As these two swans together heave 

o 

On the gently swelling wave. 

Oh ! that she saw me in a dream, 
And dreamt that I had died for care ; 

All pale and wasted I would seem, 
Yet fair withal, as spirits are ! 

I d die indeed, if I might see 

Her bosom heave, and heave for me ! 

Soothe, gentle image ! soothe my mind ! 

To-morrow Lewti may be kind. 

1795. 



THE PICTURE, 

OR THE LOVER S RESOLUTION. 

/ 

THROUGH weeds and thorns, and matted underwood 
I force my way; now climb, and now descend 
O er rocks, or bare or mossy, with wild foot 
Crushing the purple whorts ; while oft unseen, 



i 56 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Hurrying along- the drifted forest-leaves, 
The scared snake rustles. Onward still I toil 
I know not, ask not whither ! A new joy, 
Lovely as light, sudden as summer gust, 
And gladsome as the first-born of the spring, 
Beckons me on, or follows from behind, 
Playmate, or guide ! The master-passion quelled, 
I feel that I am free. With dun-red bark 
The fir-trees, and the unfrequent slender oak, 
Forth from this tangle wild of bush and brake 
Soar up, and form a melancholy vault 
High o er me, murmuring like a distant sea. 

Here Wisdom might resort, and here Remorse ; 

Here too the love-lorn man, who, sick in soul, 

And of this busy human heart aweary, 

Worships the spirit of unconscious life 

In tree or wild-flower. Gentle lunatic ! 

If so he might not wholly cease to be, 

He would far rather not be that, he is ; 

But would be something, that he knows not of, 

In winds or waters, or among the rocks ! 

But hence, fond wretch ! breathe not contagion 

here ! 

No myrtle-walks are these : these are no groves 
Where Love dare loiter ! If in sullen mood 
He should stray hither, the low stumps shall gore 
His dainty feet, the brier and the thorn 
Make his plumes haggard. Like a wounded bird 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 157 

Easily caught, ensnare him, O ye Nymphs, 
Ye Oreads chaste, ye dusky Dryades ! 
And you, ye Earth- winds ! you that make at morn 
The dew-drops quiver on the spiders webs ! 
You, O ye wing-less Airs ! that creep between 
The rigid stems of heath and bitten furze, 
Within whose scanty shade, at summer-noon, 
The mother-sheep hath worn a hollow bed 
Ye, that now cool her fleece with dropless damp, 
Now pant and murmur with her feeding lamb. 
Chase, chase him, all ye Fays, and elfin Gnomes ! 
With prickles sharper than his darts bemock 
His little Godship, making him perforce 
Creep through a thorn-bush on yon hedgehog s back. 

This is my hour of triumph ! I can now 
\\ ith my own fancies play the merry fool, 
And laugh away worse folly, being free. 
Here will I seat myself, beside this old, 
Hollow, and weedy oak, which ivy-twine 
Clothes as with net-work : here will I couch my 

limbs, 

Close by this river, in this silent shade, 
As safe and sacred from the step of man 
As an invisible world unheard, unseen, 
And listening only to the pebbly brook 
That murmurs with a dead, yet tinkling sound ; 
Or to the bees, that in the neighbouring trunk 
Make honey-hoards. The breeze, that visits me 
Was never Love s accomplice, never raised 



158 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

The tendril ringlets from the maiden s brow, 
And the blue, delicate veins above her cheek ; 
Ne er played the wanton never half disclosed 
The maiden s snowy bosom, scattering 1 thence 
Eye-poisons for some love-distempered youth, 
Who ne er henceforth may see an aspen-grove 
Shiver in sunshine, but his feeble heart 
Shall flow away like a dissolving thing. 

Sweet breeze ! thou only, if I guess aright, 
Liftest the feathers of the robin s breast, 
That swells its little breast, so full of song, 
Singing above me, on the mountain-ash. 
And thou too, desert stream ! no pool of thine, 
Though clear as lake in latest summer-eve, 
Did e er reflect the stately virgin s robe, 
The face, the form divine, the downcast look 
Contemplative ! Behold ! her open palm 
Presses her cheek and brow ! her elbow rests 
On the bare branch of half-uprooted tree, 
That leans towards its mirror ! Who erewhile 
Had from her countenance turned, or looked by 

stealth, 

(For fear is true love s cruel nurse), he now 
With steadfast gaze and unoffending eye, 
Worships the waterv idol, dreaming hopes 
Delicious to the soul, but fleeting, vain, 
E en as that phantom- world on which he gazed, 
But not unheeded gazed : for see, ah ! see, 
The sportive tyrant with her left hand plucks 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 159 

The heads of tall flowers that behind her grow, 
Lychnis, and willow-herb, and fox-glove bells : 
And suddenly, as one that toys with time, 
Scatters them on the pool ! Then all the charm 
Is broken all that phantom-world so fair 
Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread, 
And each mis-shape the other. Stay awhile, 
Poor youth, who scarcely dar st lift up thine eyes . 
The stream will soon renew its smoothness, soon 
The visions will return ! And lo ! he stays : 
And soon the fragments dim of lovely forms 
Come trembling- back, unite, and now once more 
The pool becomes a mirror ; and behold 
Each wild-flower on the marge inverted there, 
And there the half-uprooted tree but where, 
O where the virgin s snowy arm, that leaned 
On its bare branch ? He turns, and she is gone ! 
Homeward she steals through many a woodland maze 
Which he shall seek in vain. Ill-fated youth ! 
Go, day by day, and waste thy manly prime 
In mad love-yearning by the vacant brook, 
Till sickly thoughts bewitch thine eyes, and thou 
Behold st her shadow still abiding there, 
The Naiad of the mirror ! 

Not to thee, 

O wild and desert stream ! belongs this tale : 
Gloomy and dark art thou the crowded firs 
Spire from thy shores, and stretch across thy bed, 
Making thee doleful as a cavern-well : 



160 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Save when the shy king-fishers build their nest 

On thy steep banks, no loves hast thou, wild stream ! 



This be my chosen haunt emancipate 
From passion s dreams, a freeman, and alone, 
I rise and trace its devious course. O lead, 
Lead me to deeper shades and lonelier glooms. 
Lo ! stealing through the canopy of firs, 
How fair the sunshine spots that mossy rock, 
Isle of the river, whose disparted waves 
Dart off asunder with an angry sound, 
How soon to re-unite ! And see ! they meet, 
Each in the other lost and found : and see 
Placeless, as spirits, one soft water-sun 
Throbbing within them, heart at once and eye ! 
With its soft neighbourhood of filmy clouds, 
The stains and shadings of forgotten tears, 
Dimness o erswum with lustre ! Such the hour 
Of deep enjoyment, following love s brief feuds ; 
And hark, the noise of a near waterfall ! 
I pass forth into light I find myself 
Beneath a weeping birch (most beautiful 
Of forest- trees, the lady of the woods,) 
Hard by the brink of a tall weedy rock 
That overbrows the cataract. How bursts 
The landscape on my sight ! Two crescent hills 
Fold in behind each other, and so make 
A circular vale, and land-locked, as might seem, 
With brook and bridge, and grey stone cottages, 
Half hid by rocks and fruit-trees. At my feet, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 161 

The whortle-berries are bede\ved with spray, 
Dashed upwards by the furious waterfall. 
How solemnly the pendent ivy-mass 
Swings in its winnow ; all the air is calm. 
The smoke from cottage chimneys, tinged with light, 
Rises in columns ; from this house alone, 
Close by the waterfall, the column slants, 
And feels its ceaseless breeze. But what is this ? 
That cottage, with its slanting chimney-smoke, 
And close beside its porch a sleeping child, 
His dear head pillowed on a sleeping dog 
One arm between its fore legs, and the hand 
Holds loosely its small handful of wild-flowers, 
Unfilletted, and of unequal lengths. 
A curious picture, with a master s haste 
Sketched on a strip of pinky-silver skin, 
Peeled from the birchen bark ! Divinest maid ! 
Yon bark her canvass, and those purple berries 
Her pencil ! See, the juice is scarcely dried 
On the fine skin ! She has been newly here ; 
And lo ! yon patch of heath has been her couch 
The pressure still remains ! O blessed couch ! 
For this mayst thou flower early, and the sun, 
Slanting at eve, rest bright, and linger long 
Upon thy purple bells ! O Isabel ! 
Daughter of genius ! stateliest of our maids ! 
More beautiful than whom Alcasus wooed 
The Lesbian woman of immortal song ! 
O child of genius ! stately, beautiful, 
And full of love to all, save only me, 
VOL. i. M 



162 SIBYLLIXE LEAVES. 

And not ungentle e en to me ! My heart, 
Why beats it thus ? Through yonder coppice- wood 
Needs mast the pathway turn, that leads straight 
way 

On to her father s house. She is alone ! 
The night draws on such ways are hard to hit 
And fit it is I should restore this sketch, 
Dropt unawares no doubt. Why should I yearn 
To keep the relique ? twill but idly feed 
The passion that consumes me. Let me haste ! 
The picture in my hand which she has left ; , 
She cannot blame me that I followed her : 
And I may be her guide the long wood through. 



THE NIGHT-SCENE: 

A DRAMATIC FRAGMENT. 

Sandoval. You loved the daughter of Don Man- 
rique ? 

Earl Henry. Loved ? 

Sandoval. Did you not say you wooed her ? 

Earl Henry. Once I loved 

Her whom I dared not woo ! 

Sandoval. And wooed, perchance, 

One whom you loved not ! 

Earl Henry. Oh ! I were most base, 

Not loving Oropeza. True, I wooed her, 
Hoping to heal a deeper wound ; but she 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 163 

Met my advances with impassioned pride, 

That kindled love with love. And when her sire, 

Who in his dream of hope already grasped 

The golden circlet in his hand, rejected 

My suit witli insult, an d in memory 

Of ancient feuds poured curses on my head, 

Her blessings overtook and baffled them ! 

But thou art stern, and with unkindly countenance 

Art inly reasoning whilst thou listenest to me. 

Sandoval. Anxiously, Henry ! reasoning anx 
iously. 
But Oropeza 

Earl Henry. Blessings gather round her ! 
Within this wood there winds a secret passage, 
Beneath the walls, which opens out at length 
Into the gloomiest covert of the garden. , 
The night ere my departure to the army, 
She, nothing trembling, led me through that gloom, 
And to that covert by a silent stream, 
Which, with one star reflected near its marge, 
Was the sole object visible around me. 
No leaflet stirred ; the air was almost sultry ; 
So deep, so dark, so close, the umbrage o er us ! 
No leaflet stirred ; yet pleasure hung upon 
The gloom and stillness of the balmy night-air. 
A little further on an arbour stood, 
Fragrant with flowering trees I well remember 
What an uncertain glimmer in the darkness 
Their snow-white blossoms made thither she led 
me, 



164 SIBYLLIXE LEAVES. 

To that sweet bower ! Then Oropeza trembled 
I heard her heart beat if twere not my own. 

Sandoval. A rude and scaring* note, my friend . 

Earl Henry. Oh ! no ! 

I have small memory of aught but pleasure. 
The inquietudes of fear, like lesser streams 
Still flowing, still were lost in those of love : 
So love grew mightier from the fear, and Nature, 
Fleeing- from pain, sheltered herself in joy. 
The stars above our heads were dim and steady, 
Like eyes suffused with rapture. Life was in us : 
We were all life, each atom of our frames 
A living 1 soul I vowed to die for her : 
"With the faint voice of one who, having spoken, 
Relapses into blessedness, I vowed it : 
That solemn vow, a whisper scarcely heard, 
A murmur breathed against a lady s ear. 
Oh ! there is joy above the name of pleasure, 
Deep self-possession, an intense repose. 

Sandoval [with a sarcastic smile]. No other 

than as eastern sages paint, 
The God, who floats upon a lotos leaf, 
Dreams for a thousand ages ; then awaking, 
Creates a world, and smiling at the bubble, 
Relapses into bliss. 

Earl Henry. Ah ! was that bliss 

Feared as an alien, and too vast for man ? 
For suddenly, impatient of its silence, 
Did Oropeza, starting 1 , grasp my forehead. 
I caugnt her arms ; the veins were swelling on them. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 1 65 

Through the dark bower she sent a hollow voice ; 
" Oh ! what if all betray me ? what if thou ?" 
I swore, and with an inward thought that seemed 
The purpose and the substance of my being, 
I swore to her, that were she red with guilt, 
I would exchange my unblenched state with hers. 
Friend ! by that winding passage, to that bower 
I now will go all objects there will teach me 
Unwavering love, and singleness of heart. 
Go, Sandoval ! I am prepared to meet her 
Say nothing of me I myself will seek her 
Nay, leave me, friend ! I cannot bear the torment 
And keen inquiry of that scanning eye. 

[Earl Henry retires into the wood.] 
Sandoval [alone]. O Henry ! always striv st 

thou to be great 

By thine own act yet art thou never great 
But by the inspiration of great passion. 
The whirl-blast comes, the desert-sands rise up 
And shape themselves : from earth to heaven 

they stand, 

As though they were the pillars of a temple, 
Built by Omnipotence in its own honour ! 
But the blast pauses, and their shaping spirit 
Is fled : the mighty columns were but sand, 
And lazy snakes trail o er the level ruins ! 



166 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



TO AN UNFORTUNATE WOMAN, 

WHOM THE AUTHOR HAD KNOWN IN THE DAYS OF 

HER INNOCENCE. 

MYRTLE-LEAF that, ill besped, 

Finest in the gladsome ray, 
Soiled beneath the common tread, 

Far from thy protecting spray ! 

When the partridge o er the sheaf 

Whirred along the yellow vale, 
Sad I saw thee, heedless leaf! 

Love the dalliance of the gale. 

Lightly didst thou, foolish thing ! 

Heave and flutter to his sighs, 
While the flatterer, on his wing, 

Wooed and whispered thee to rise 

Gaily from thy mother-stalk 

Wert thou danced and wafted high 

Soon on this unsheltered walk 
Flung to fade, to rot and die 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 167 



TO AN UNFORTUNATE WOMAN AT 
THE THEATRE. 

MAIDEN, that with sullen brow 
Sitt st behind those virgins gay, 

Like a scorched and mildewed bough, 
Leafless mid the blooms of May ! 

Him who lured thee and forsook, 
Oft I watched with angry gaze, 

Fearful saw his pleading look, 
Anxious heard his fervid phrase. 

Soft the glances of the youth, 

Soft his speech, and soft his sigh ; 

But no sound like simple truth, 
But no true love in his eye. 

Loathing thy polluted lot, 

Hie thee, Maiden, hie thee hence ! 
Seek thy weeping Mother s cot, 

With a wiser innocence. 

Thou hast known deceit and folly, 
Thou hast felt that vice is woe : 

With a musing melancholy 
Inly armed, go, Maiden ! go. 



168 SIB i LLINE LEAVES. 

Mother sage of self-dominion, 

Firm thy steps, O Melancholy ! 
The, strongest plume in wisdom s pinion 

Is the memory of past folly. 



Mute the sky-lark and forlorn, 

While she moults the firstling plumes, 

That had skimmed the tender corn, 
Or the beanfield s odorous blooms. 

Soon with renovated wing 
Shall she dare a loftier flight, 

Upward to the day-star spring, 
And embathe in heavenly light. 



LINES COMPOSED IN A CONCERT-ROOM. 

NOR cold, nor stern, my soul ! yet I detest 
These scented rooms, where, to a gaudy throng, 

Heaves the proul harlot her distended breast 
In intricacies of laborious song. 

These feel not Music s genuine power, nor deign 
To melt at Nature s passion-warbled plaint ; 

But when the long-breathed singer s uptrilled 

strain 
Bursts in a squall they gape for wonderment. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 169 

Hark ! the deep buzz of vanity and hate ! 

Scornful, yet envious, with self- torturing sneer 

My lady eyes some maid of humbler state, 

While the pert captain, or the primmer priest, 
Prattles accordant scandal in her ear. 

O give me, from this heartless scene released, 
To hear our old musician, blind and gray, 

(Whom stretching from my nurse s arms I kissed,) 
His Scottish tunes and warlike marches play, 

By moonshine, on the balmy summer-night, 
The while I dance amid the tedded hay 

With merry maids, whose ringlets toss in light. 

Or lies the purple evening on the bay 
Of the calm glossy lake, O let me hide 

Unheard, unseen, behind the alder-trees, 
For round their roots the fisher s boat is tied, 

On whose trim seat doth Edmund stretch at ease, 
And while the lazy boat sways to and fro, 

Breathes in his flute sad airs, so wild and slow, 
That his own cheek is wet with quiet tears. 

But O, dear Anne ! when midnight wind careers, 

And the gust pelting on the out-house shed 

Makes the cock shrilly on the rain storm crow, 
To hear thee sing some ballad full of woe, 

Ballad of ship- ( wrecked sailor floating dead, 
Whom his own true-love buried in the sands ! 

Thee, gentle woman, for thy voice re-measures 



170 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Whatever tones and melancholy pleasures 

The things of Nature utter ; birds or trees 
Or moan of ocean-gale in weedy caves, 
Or where the stiff grass mid the heath-plant waves, 
Murmur and music thin of sudden breeze. 



THE KEEPSAKE. 

THE tedded hay, the first fruits of the soil, 
The tedded hay and corn-sheaves in one field, 
Show summer gone, ere come. The foxglove tall 
Sheds its loose purple bells, or in the gust, 
Or when it bends beneath the up-springing lark, 
Or mountain-finch alighting. And the rose 
(In vain the darling of successful love) 
Stands, like some boasted beauty of past years, 
The thorns remaining, and the flowers all gone. 
Nor can Lfind, amid my lonely walk 
By rivulet, or spring, or wet road-side, 
That blue and bright-eyed floweret of the brook, 
Hope s gentle gem, the sweet Forget-me-not ! 1 
So will not fade the flowers which Emmeline 



1 One of the names (and meriting to be the only one) of 
the Myosot is Scorpioides Palustris, a flower from six to twelve 
inches high, with blue blossom and bright yellow eye. It 
has the same name over the whole Empire of Germany 
(Vergissmein niclit) and, I believe, in Denmark and Sweden. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 171 

With delicate fingers on the snow-white silk 
Has worked, (the flowers which most she knew I 

loved,) 
And, more beloved than they, her auburn hair. 

In the cool morning twilight, early waked 
By her full bosom s joyous restlessness, 
Softly she rose, and lightly stole along, 
Down the slope coppice to the woodbine bower, 
Whose rich flowers, swinging in the morning breeze, 
Over their dim fast-moving shadows hung, 
Making a quiet image of disquiet 
In the smooth, scarcely moving river-pool. 
There, in that bower where first she owned her love, 
And let me kiss my own warm tear of joy 
From off her slowing 1 cheek, she sate and stretched 

O O 7 

The silk upon the frame, and worked her name 
Between the Moss-Rose and Forget-me-not 
Her own dear name, with her own auburn hair ! 
That forced to wander till sweet spring return, 
I yet might ne er forget her smile, her look, 
Her voice, (that even in her mirthful mood 
Has made me wish to steal away and weep,) 
Nor yet the enhancement of that maiden kiss 
With which she promised, that when spring 

returned, 

She would resign one half of that dear name. 
And own thenceforth no other name but mine ! 



172 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



TO A LADY. 

WITH FALCONER S " SHIPWRECK." 

AH ! not by Cam or Isis, famous streams 

In arched groves, the youthful poet s choice ; 

Nor while half-listening, mid delicious dreams, 
To harp and song from lady s hand and voice ; 

Nor yet while gazing in sublimer mood 
On cliff, or cataract, in Alpine dell ; 

Nor in dim cave with bladdery sea-weed strewed, 
Framing wild fancies to the ocean s swell ; 

Our sea-bard sang this" song! which still he sings, 
And sings for thee, sweet friend ! Hark, Pity, 
hark ! 

Now mounts, now totters on the tempest s wings, 
Now groans, and shivers, the replunging bark ! 

" Cling to the shrouds !" In vain ! The breakers 
roar 

Death shrieks ! With two alone of all his clan 
Forlorn the poet paced the Grecian shore, 

No classic roamer, but a ship-wrecked man ! 

Say then, what muse inspired these genial strains 
And lit his spirit to so bright a flame ? 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 173 

The elevating- thought of suffered pains, 

Which gentle hearts shall mourn ; but chief, 

* 

the name 

Of gratitude ! remembrances of friend, 

Or absent or no more ! shades of the Past, 

Which Love makes substance ! Hence to thee I 

send, 
O dear as long- as life and memory last ! 

I send with deep regards of heart and head, 
Sweet maid, for friendship formed ! this work 
to thee : 

And thou, the while thou canst not choose but shed 
A tear for Falconer, wilt remember me. 



TO A YOUNG LADY. 

ON HER RECOVERY FROM A FEVER. 

WHY need I say, Louisa dear ! 
How glad I am to see you here, 

A lovely convalescent ; 
Risen from the bed of pain and fear, 

And feverish heat incessant. 

The sunny showers, the dappled sky 
The little birds that warble high, 

Their vernal loves commencing, 
Will better welcome you than I 

With their sweet influencing. 

O 



174 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Believe me, while in bed you lay, 
Your danger taught us all to pray : 

You made us grow devouter ! 
Each eye looked up and seemed to say, 

How can we do without her ? 

Besides, what vexed us worse, we knew, 
They have no need of such as you 

In the place where you were going : 
This World has angels all too few, 

And Heaven is overflowing ! 



SOMETHING CHILDISH, BUT VERY NATURAL. 

WRITTEN IN GERMANY. 

IF I had but two little wings, 
And were a little featheiy bird, 

To you I d fly, my dear! 
But thoughts like these are idle things, 
And I stay here. 

But in my sleep to you I fly : 

I m always with you in my sleep ! 

The world is all one s own. 
But then one wakes, and where am I ? 
All, all alone. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 175 

Sleep stays not, though a monarch bids : 
So I love to wake ere break of day : 

For though my sleep be gone, 
Yet while tis dark, one shuts one s lids, 
And still dreams on. 



HOME- SICK. 

WRITTEN IN GERMANY. 

Tis sweet to him, who all the week 

Through city-crowds must push his way. 

To stroll alone through fields and woods, 
And hallow thus the Sabbath-day. 

And sweet it is, in summer bower, 

Sincere, affectionate and gay, 
One s own dear children feasting round, 

To celebrate one s marriage-day. 

But what is all, to his delight, 

Who having long been doomed to roam, 
Throws off the bundle from his back, 

9 

Before the door of his own home ? 

i 
Home-sickness is a wasting pang ; 

This feel I hourly more and more : 
There s healing only in thy wings, 

Thou Breeze that play st on Albion s shore ! 



176 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



ANSWER TO A CHILD S QUESTION. 

Do you ask what the birds say ? The sparrow, the 

dove, 

The linnet and thrush say, " I love and I love !" 
In the winter they re silent the wind is so strong 
What it says, I don t know, but it sings a loud song 
But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm 

weather, 

And singing, and loving all come back together. 
But the lark is so brimful of gladness and love, 
The green fields below him, the blue sky above, 
That he sings, and he sings ; and for ever sings he 
" I love my Love, and my Love loves me !" 



A CHILD S EVENING PRAYER. 

ERE on my bed my limbs I lay, 

God grant me grace my prayers to say : 

O God ! preserve my mother dear 

In strength and health for many a year ; 

And, O ! preserve my father too, 

And may I pay him reverence due ; 

And may I my best thoug-hts employ 

To be my parents hope and joy ; 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 177 

And, O ! preserve my brothers both 
From evil doings and from sloth, 
And may we always love each other, 
Our friends, our father, and our mother : 
And still, Lord, to me impart 
An innocent and grateful heart, 
That after my last sleep I may 
Awake to thy eternal day ! 

Amen, 



THE VISIONARY HOPE. 

SAD lot, to have no hope ! Though lowly kneeling 
He fain would frame a prayer within his breast, 
Would fain entreat for some sweet breath of healing, 
That his sick body might have ease and rest ; 
He strove in vain ! the dull sighs from his chest 
Against his will the stifling load revealing, 
Though Nature forced ; though like some captive 

guest, 

Some royal prisoner at his conqueror s feast, 
An alien s restless mood but half concealino- 

O 

T!ie sternness on his gentle brow confessed, 
Sickness within and miserable feeling : 
Though obscure pangs made curses of his dreams, 
And dreaded sleep, each night repelled in vain, 
Each night was scattered by its own loud screams : 
Yet never could his heart command, though fain, 
One deep full wish to be no more in pain. 

VOL. I. v 






178 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

That Hope, which was his inward bliss and boast, 
Which waned and died, yet ever near him stood, 
Though changed in nature, wander where he 

would 

For Love s despair is but Hope s pining- ghost ! 
For this one hope he makes his hourly moan, 
He wishes and can wish for this alone ! 
Piercedj as with light from Heaven, before its 

gleams 

(So the love-stricken visionary deems) 
Disease would vanish, like a summer shower, 
Whose dews fling sunshine from the noon-tide 

bower ! 

Or let it stay ! yet this one Hope should give 
Such strength that he would bless his pains and 

live. 



THE HAPPY HUSBAND. 

OFT, oft methinks, the while with Thee 
I breathe, as from the heart, thy dear 
And dedicated name, I hear 

A promise and a mystery, 

A pledge of more than passing life, 
Yea, in that very name of Wife ! 

A pulse of love, that ne er can sleep ! 
A feeling that upbraids the heart 
With happiness beyond desert, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 1/9 

That gladness half requests to weep ! 
Nor bless I not the keener sense 
And unalarmino; turbulence 



o 



Of transient joys, that ask no sting- 
From jealous fears, or coy denying 1 ; 
But born beneath Love s brooding wing 1 , 

And into tenderness soon dying, 

Wheel out their giddy moment, then 
Resign the soul to love again ; 

A more precipitated vein 

Of notes, that eddy in the flow 

Of smoothest song, they come, they go, 

And leave their sweeter understrain 
Its own sweet self a love of Thee 
That seems, yet cannot greater be ! 



RECOLLECTIONS OF LOVE. 

I. 

How warm this woodland wild Recess ! 

Love surely hath been breathing here ; 

And this sweet bed of heath, my dear ! 
Swells up, then sinks with faint caress, 

As if to have you yet more near. 



ISO SIBYLLIXE LEAVES. 

II. 

Eight springs have flown, since last I lay 
On sea ward Quantock s heathy hills, 
Where quiet sounds from hidden rills 

Float here and there, like things astray, 
And high o er head the sky-lark shrills. 

in. 

No voice as yet had made the air 
Be music with your name ; yet why 
That asking look ? that yearning sigh ? 

That sense of promise every where ? 
Beloved ! flew your spirit by ? 

IV. 

As when a mother doth explore 

The rose-mark on her long lost child, 
I met, I loved you, maiden mild ! 

As whom I long had loved before 
So deeply, had I been beguiled. 

v. 

You stood before me like a thought, 
A dream remembered in a dream. 
But when those meek eyes first did seem 

To tell me, Love within you wrought 
O Greta, dear domestic stream ! 

VI. 

Has not, since then, Love s prompture deep 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 181 

Has not Love s whisper evermore 
Been ceaseless, as thy gentle roar ? 
Sole voice, when other voices sleep, 
Dear under-song 1 in clamor s hour. 



ON REVISITING THE SEA-SHORE, 

AFTER LONG ABSENCE, UNDER STRONG MEDICAL 

RECOMMENDATION NOT TO BATHE. 

GOD be with thee, gladsome Ocean ! 

How gladly greet I thee once more ! 
Ships and waves, and ceaseless motion, 

And men rejoicing on thy shore. 

Dissuading spake the mild physician, 

" Those briny waves for thee are death !" 

But my soul fulfilled her mission, 

And lo ! I breathe untroubled breath ! 

Fashion s pining sons and daughters, 
That seek the crowd they seem to fly, 

Trembling they approach thy waters ; 
And what cares Nature, if they die ? 

Me a thousand hopes and pleasures, 
A thousand recollections bland, 

Thoughts sublime, and stately measures, 
Revisit on thy echoing strand : 



182 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



Dreams, (the soul herself forsaking-,) 
Tearful raptures, boyish mirth ; 

Silent adorations, making 

A blessed shadow of this Earth ! 






O ye hopes, that stir within me, 

Health comes with you from above ! 

God is with me, God is in me ! 
I cannot die, if Life be Love. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 183 



III. MEDITATIVE POEMS. 

IN BLANK VERSE. 

YEA, he deserves to find himself deceived, 
Who seeks a Heart in the unthinking Man. 
Like shadows on a stream, the forms of life 
Impress their characters on the smooth forehead 
Nought sinks into the bosom s silent depth. 
Quick sensibility of pain and pleasure 
Moves the light fluids lightly ; but no soul 
Warmeth the inner frame. SCHILLER. 



HYMN 

BEFORE SUN-RISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI. 

BESIDES the Rivers, Arve and Arveiron, which have their 
sources in the foot of Mont Blanc, five conspicuous tor 
rents rush down its sides ; and within a few paces of the 
Glaciers, the Gentiana Major grows in immense numbers 
with its " flowers of loveliest blue." 

HAST thou a charm to stay the morning-star 
In his steep course ? So long 1 he seems to pause 
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc ! 
The Arve and Arveiron at thy base 
Rave ceaselessly ; but thou, most awful Form ! 
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines, 
How silently ! Around thee and above 
Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black, 



184 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

An ebon mass : methiaks thou piercest it, 
As with a wedge ! But when I look again, 
It is thine X)wn calm home, thy crystal shrine, 
Thy habitation from eternity ! 

dread and silent Mount ! I gazed upon thee, 
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense, 

Didst vanish from my thought : entranced in prayer 

1 worshipped the Invisible alone. 

Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody, 
So sweet, we know not we are listening to it, 
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my 

thought, 

Yea, with my life and life s own secret joy : 
Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfused, 
Into the mighty vision passing there 
As in her natural form, swelled vast to Heaven ! 

Awake, my soul ! not only passive praise 
Thou owest ! not alone these swelling tears, 

O 

Mute thanks and secret ecstasy ! Awake, 
Voice of sweet song ! Awake, my Heart, awake ! 
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my Hymn. 

Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the Vale ! 
strug-^liniJC with the darkness all the night, 

O O C> O * 

And visited all night by troops of stars, 
Or when they climb the sky or when they sink : 
Companion of the morning-star at dawn, 
Thyself Earth s rosy star, and of the dawn 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 185 

Co-herald : wake, O wake, and utter praise ! 
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in Earth ? 
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light ? 
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams ? 

And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad ! 
Who called you forth from night and utter death, 
From dark and icy caverns called you forth, 
Down those precipitous, black, jagged Rocks, 
For ever shattered and the same for ever ? 
Who gave you your invulnerable life, 
Your strength, your speed, your fuiy, and your joy, 
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ? 
And who commanded (and the silence came,) 
Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest ? 

; 

Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain s brow 
Adown enormous ravines slope amain 
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice, 
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge ! 
Motionless torrents ! silent cataracts ! 
Who made you glorious as the gates of Heaven 
Beneath the keen full moon ? Who bade the sun 
Clothe you with rainbows ? Who, with living 

flowers 

Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet? 
God ! let the torrents, like a shout of nations, 
Answer ! and let the ice-plains echo, God ! 
God ! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice ! 
Ye pine -groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds ! 



186 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow, 
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God ! 

Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost ! 
Ye wild goats sporting 1 round the eagle s nest ! 
Ye eagles, play-mates of the mountain-storm ! 
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds ! 
Ye signs and wonders of the element ! 
Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise ! 

Thou too, hoar Mount ! with thy sky-pointing 

peaks, 

Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard, 
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure 

serene 

Into the depth of clouds, that veil thy breast 
Thou too again, stupendous Mountain ! thou 
That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low 
In adoration, upward from thy base 
Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused with tears, 
Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud, 
To rise before me Rise, O ever rise, 
Rise like a cloud of incense, from the Earth ! 
Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills, 
Thou dread ambassador from Earth to Heaven, 
Great hierarch ! tell thou the silent sky, 
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun, 
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 187 



LINES 

WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM AT ELBINGERODE, 
IN THE HARTZ FOREST. 

I STOOD on Brocken s 1 sovran height, and saw 
Woods crowding upon woods, hills over hills, 
A surging scene, and only limited 
By the blue distance. Heavily my way 
Downward I dragged through fir groves evermore, 
Where bright green moss heaves in sepulchral 

forms 

Speckled with sunshine ; and, but seldom heard, 
The sweet bird s song became a hollow sound ; 
And the breeze, murmuring indivisibly, 
Preserved its solemn murmur most distinct 
From many a note of many a waterfall, 
And the brook s chatter ; mid whose islet stones 
The dingy kidling with its tinkling bell 
Leaped frolicsome, or old romantic goat 
Sat, his white beard slow waving. I moved on 
In low and languid mood : 2 for I had found 

1 The highest mountain in the Hartz, and indeed in 
North Germany. 

3 When I have gazed 

From some high eminence on goodly vales, 
And cots and villages embowered below, 
The thought would rise that all to me was strange 
Amid the scenes so fair, nor one small spot 
Where my tired mind might rest, and call it home. 

Southey s Hymn to the Pemites. 



188 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

That outward forms, the loftiest, still receive 

7 / 

Their finer influence from the Life within ; 

Fair cyphers else : fair, but of import vague 

Or unconcerning, where the heart not finds 

History or prophecy of friend, or child, 

Or gentle maid, our first and early love, 

Or father, or the venerable name 

Of our adored country ! O thou Queen, 

Thou delegated Deity of Earth, 

O dear, dear England ! how my longing eye 

Turned westward, shaping in the steady clouds 

Thy sands and high white cliffs ! 

* 

My native Land i 

Filled with the thought of thee this heart was proud, 
Yea, mine eye swam with tears : that all the view 
From sovran Brocken, woods and woody hills, 
Floated away, like a departing dream, 
Feeble and dim ! Stranger, these impulses 
Blame thou not lightly ; nor will I profane, 
With hasty judgment or injurious doubt, 
That man s sublimer spirit, who can feel 
That God is e\ erywhere ! the God who framed 
Mankind to be one mighty family, 
Himself our Father, and the World our Home. 



SIBYLLIXE LEAVES. 



189 



ON OBSERVmG A BLOSSOM OX THE 
FIRST OF FEBRUARY, 

1796. 

/ 

SWEET Flower ! that peeping from thy russet stem 
Unfoldest timidly, (for in strange sort 
This dark, frieze-coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering- 

Month 

Hath borrowed Zephyr s voice, and gazed upon thce 
With blue voluptuous eye) alas, poor Flower ! 
These are but flatteries of the faithless year. 
Perchance, escaped its unknown polar cave, 
E en now the keen North-East is on its way. 
Flower that must perish ! shall I liken thee 
To some sweet girl of too too rapid growth 
Nipped by consumption mid untimely charms ? 
Or to Bristowa s bard, 1 the w r ondrous boy ! 
An amaranth, which Earth scarce seemed to own, 
Till disappointment came, and pelting wrong 
Beat it to Earth ? or with indignant grief 
Shall I compare thee to poor Poland s hope, 
Bright flower of Hope killed in the opening b;;d ? 
Farewell, sweet blossom ! better fate be thine 
And mock my boding ! Dim similitudes 
Weaving in moral strains, I ve stolen one hour 
From anxious self, Life s cruel task-master ! 

1 Chatterton. 



190 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

And the warm wooings of this sunny day 
Tremble along my frame, and harmonize 
The attempered organ, that even saddest thoughts 
Mix with some sweet sensations, like harsh tunes 
Played deftly on a soft-toned instrument. 



THE EOLIAN HARP. 

COMPOSED AT CLEVED01ST, SOMERSETSHIRE. 

MY pensive Sara ! thy soft cheek reclined 
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is 
To sit beside our cot, our cot o ergrown 
With white -flowered jasmin, and the broad-leaved 

myrtle, 

(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love !) 
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light, 
Slow saddening round, and mark the star of eve 
Serenely brilliant (such should wisdom be) 
Shine opposite ! How exquisite the scents 
Snatched from yon bean-field ! and the world so 

hushed ! 

The stilly murmur of the distant sea 
Tells us of silence. 

And that simplest lute, 

Placed length-ways in the clasping casement, hark! 
How by the desultory breeze caressed, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 191 

Like some coy maid half yielding- to her lover, 
It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs 
Tempt to repeat the wrong 1 ! And now, its strings 
Boldlier swept, the long- sequacious notes 
Over delicious surges sink and rise, 
Such a soft floating witchery of sound 
As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve 
Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land, 
Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers, 
Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise, 
Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untamed wing! 
O the one life within us and abroad, 
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul, 
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light 
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where 
Methinks, it should have been impossible 
Not to love all things in a world so filled ; 
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air 
Is Music slumbering on her instrument. 

And thus, my love ! as on the midway slope 
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon, 
Whilst through my half-closed eye-lids I behold 
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main, 
And tranquil muse upon tranquillity ; 
Full many a thought uncalled and undetained, 
And many idle flitting phantasies, 
Traverse my indolent and passive brain, 
As wild and various as the random gales 
That swell and flutter on this subject lute ! 



192 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

And what if all of animated nature 
Be but organic harps diversely framed, 
That tremble into thought, as o er them sweeps 
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze, 
At once the Soul of each, and God of All ? 

But thy more serious eye a mild reproof 
Darts, O beloved woman ! nor such thoughts 

a 

Dim and unhallowed dost thou not reject, 
And biddest me walk humbly with my God. 
Meek daughter in the family of Christ ! 
Well hast thou said and holily dispraised 
These shapings of the unregenerate mind ; 
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break 
On vain Philosophy s aye-babbling spring. 
For never guiltless may I speak of him, 
The Incomprehensible ! save w r hen with awe 
I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels ; 
Who w r ith his saving mercies healed me, 
A sinful and most miserable man, 
Wildered and dark, and gave me to possess 
Peace, and this cot, and thee, heart-honoured 
Maid ! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 193 



REFLECTIONS 

ON HAVING LEFT A PLACE OF RETIREMENT. 
Sermoni propriora. HOR. 

Low was our pretty Cot : our tallest rose 
Peeped at the chamber- window. We could hear 
At silent noon, and eve, and early morn, 
The sea s faint murmur. In the open air 
Our myrtles blossomed ; and across the porch 
Thick jasmins twined : the little landscape round 
Was green and woody, and refreshed the eye. 

{ 

It was a spot which you might aptly call 
The Valley of Seclusion ! Once I saw 
(Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quietness) 
A wealthy son of commerce saunter by, 
Bristowa s citizen : methought, it calmed 
His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse 
With wiser feelings : for he paused, and looked 
With a pleased sadness, and gazed all around, 
Then eyed our Cottage, and gazed round again, 
And sighed, and said, it was a Blessed Place. 
And we were blessed. Oft with patient ear 
Long-listening to the viewless sky-lark s note 
(Viewless, or haply for a moment seen 
Gleaming on sunny wings) in whispered tones 
I ve said to my beloved, " Such, sweet girl ! 
The inobtrusive song of happiness, 
VOL. i. o 



194 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Unearthly minstrelsy ! then only heard 

When the soul seeks to hear; when all is hushed, 

And the* heart listens !" 

But the time, when first 

From that low dell, steep up the stony mount 
I climbed with perilous toil and reached the top, 
Oh ! what a goodly scene ! Here the bleak mount, 
The bare bleak mountain speckled thin with sheep ; 
Gray clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields ; 
And river, now with bushy rocks o erbrowed, 
Now winding bright and full, with naked banks ; 
And seats, and lawns, the Abbey and the wood, 
And cots, and hamlets, and faint city-spire ; 
The Channel there, the Islands and white sails*, 
Dim coasts, and cloud-like hills, and shoreless 

Ocean 

It seemed like Omnipresence ! God, methought, 
Had built him there a temple : the whole World 
Seemed imaged in its vast circumference, 
No wish profaned my overwhelmed heart. 
Blest hour ! It was a luxury, to be ! 

Ah ! quiet dell ! dear cot, and mount sublime . 
I was constrained to quit you. Was it right, 
While my unnumbered brethren toiled and bled, 
That I should dream away the entrusted hours 
On rose-leaf beds, pampering the coward heart 
With feelings all too delicate for use ? 
Sweet is the tear that from some Howard s eye 






SIBYLLINE LEAVES 195 

Drops on the cheek of one he lifts from earth : 

And he that works me good with unmoved face, 

Does it but half: he chills me while he aids, 

My benefactor, not my brother man ! 

Yet even this, this cold beneficence 

Praise, praise it, O my Soul! oft as thou scann st 

The sluggard Pity s vision-weaving tribe ! 

Who sigh for wretchedness, yet shun the wretched, 

Nursing in some delicious solitude 

Their slothful loves and dainty sympathies ! 

I therefore go, and join head, heart, and hand, 

Active and firm, to fight the bloodless fight 

Of science, freedom, and the truth in Christ. 

Yet oft when after honourable toil 
Rests the tired mind, and waking loves to dream, 
My spirit shall revisit thee, dear Cot ! 
Thy jasmin and thy window-peeping rose, 
And myrtles fearless of the mild sea-air. 
And I shall sigh fond wishes sweet abode ! 
Ah ! had none greater ! And that all had such ! 
It might be so but the time is not yet. 
Speed it, O Father ! Let thy kingdom come ! 



196 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



TO THE REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE 

OF OTTERY ST. MARY, DEVON. WITH SOME POEMS. 

Notus in fratres animi paterni. 

HOR. Carm. lib. 1. 2. 

A BLESSED lot hath he, who having passed 
His youth and early manhood in the stir 
And turmoil of the world, retreats at length, 
With cares that move, not agitate the heart, 
To the same dwelling where his father dwelt ; 
And haply views his tottering little ones 
Embrace those aged knees and climb that lap, 
On which first kneeling his own infancy 
Lisped its brief prayer. Such, my earliest Friend ! 
Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy. 
At distance did ye climb life s upland road, 
Yet cheered and cheering : now fraternal love 
Hath drawn you to one centre. Be your days 
Holy, and blest and blessing may ye live ! 

To me the Eternal Wisdom hath dispensed 
A different fortune and more different mind 
Me from the spot where first I sprang to light 
Too soon transplanted, ere my soul had fixed 
Its first domestic loves ; and hence through life 
Chasing chance-started friendships. A brief while 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 197 

Some have preserved me from life s pelting ills ; 
But, like a tree with leaves of feeble stem, 
If the clouds lasted, and a sudden breeze 
Ruffled the boughs, they on my head at once 
Dropped the collected shower; and some most false, 
False and fair foliaged as the Manchineel, 
Have tempted me to slumber in their shade 
E en mid the storm ; then breathing subtlest damps, 
Mixed their own venom with the rain from Heaven, 
That I woke poisoned ! But, all praise to Him 
Who gives us all things, more have yielded me 
Permanent shelter ; and beside one friend, 
Beneath the impervious covert of one oak, 
I ve raised a lowly shed, and know the names 
Of husband and of father ; not unhearing 
Of that divine and nightly- whispering voice, 
Which from my childhood to maturer years 
Spake to me of predestinated wreaths, 
Bright with no fading colours ! 

Yet at times 

My soul is sad, that I have roamed through life 
Still most a stranger, most with naked heart 
At mine own home and birth-place : chiefly then, 
When I remember thee, my earliest friend ! 
Thee, who didst watch my boyhood and my youth ; 
Didst trace my wanderings with a father s eye ; 
And boding evil yet still hoping good, 
Rebuked each fault, and over all my woes 
Sorrowed in silence ! He who counts alone 



198 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

The beatings of the solitary heart, 

That being knows, how 1 have loved thee ever, 

Loved as a brother, as a son revered thee ! 

Oh ! tis to me an ever new delight, 

To talk of thee and thine : or when the blast 

Of the shrill winter, rattling our rude sash. 

Endears the cleanly hearth and social bowl ; 

Or when as now, on some delicious eve, 

We in our sweet sequestered orchard-plot 

Sit on the tree crooked earth-ward ; whose old 

boughs, 

That hang above us in an arborous roof, 
Stirred by the faint gale of departing May, 
Send their loose blossoms slanting o er our heads ! 

Nor dost not thou sometimes recall those hours, 
When with the joy of hope thou gav st thine ear 
To my wild firstling-lays. Since then my song 
Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem 
Or that sad wisdom folly leaves behind, 
Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times, 
Cope with the tempest s swell ! 

These various strains, 

Which I have framed in many a various mood, 
Accept, my brother ! and (for some perchance 
Will strike discordant on thy milder mind) 
If aught of error or intemperate truth 
Should meet thine ear, think thou that riper age 
Will calm it down, and let thy love forgive it ! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 199 



INSCRIPTION 

FOR A FOUNTAIN ON A HEATH. 

THIS Sycamore, oft musical with bees, 

Such tents the Patriarchs loved ! O long unharmed 

May all its aged boughs o er-canopy 

The small round basin, which this jutting stona 

Keeps pure from falling leaves ! Long may the 

Spring, 

Quietly as a sleeping infant s breath, 
Send up cold waters to the traveller 
With soft and even pulse ! Nor ever cease 
Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance, 
Which at the bottom, like a Fairy s page, 
As merry and no taller, dances still, 
Nor wrinkles the smooth surface of the Fount. 
Here twilight is and coolness : here is moss, 
A soft seat, and a deep and ample shade. 
Thou may st toil far and find no second tree. 
Drink, Pilgrim, here ; Here rest! and if thy heart 
Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh 
Thy Spirit, listening to some gentle sound, 
Or passing gale or hum of murmuring bees I 



200 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



A TOMBLESS EPITAPH. 

Tis true, Idoloclastes Satyrane ! 
(So call him, for so mingling blame with praise, 
And smiles with anxious looks, his earliest friends, 
Masking 1 his birth-name, wont to character 
His wild-wood fancy and impetuous zeal,) 
Tis true that, passionate for ancient truths, 
And honouring with religious love the great 
Of elder times, he hated to excess, 
With an unquiet and intolerant scorn, 
The hollow puppets of a hollow age, 
Ever idolatrous, and changing ever 
Its worthless idols ! learning, power, and time, 
(Too much of all) thus wasting in vain war 
Of fervid colloquy. Sickness, tis true, 
Whole years of weary days, besieged him close, 
Even to the gates and inlets of his life ! 
But it is true, no less, that strenuous, firm, 
And with a natural gladness, he maintained 
The citadel unconquered, and in joy 
Was strong to follow the delightful Muse. 
For not a hidden path, that to the shades 
Of the beloved Parnassian forest leads, 
Lurked undiscovered by him ; not a rill 
There issues from the fount of Hippocrene, 
But he had traced it upward to its source, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 201 

Through open glade, dark glen, and secret dell, 
Knew the gay wild flowers on its banks, and culled 
Its med cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone, 
Piercing the long-neglected holy cave, 
The haunt obscure of old Philosophy, 
He bade with lifted torch its starry walls 
Sparkle, as erst they sparkled to the flame 
Of odorous lamps tended by Saint and Sage. 
O framed for calmer times and nobler hearts ! 
studious Poet, eloquent for truth ! 
Philosopher ! contemning wealth and death, 
Yet docile, childlike, full of Life and Love ! 
Here, rather than on monumental stone, 
This record of thy worth thy Friend inscribes, 
Thoughtful, with quiet tears upon his cheek. 



THIS LIME-TREE BOWER MY PRISON. 

IN the June of 1797, some long-expected Friends paid a 
visit to the author s cottage ; and on the morning of their 
arrival, he met with an accident, which disabled him from 
walking during the whole time of their stay. One evening, 
when they had left him for a few hours, he composed the 
following lines in the garden-bower. 

WELL, they are gone, and here must I remain, 
This lime-tree bower my prison ! I have lost 
Beauties and feelings, such as would have been 
Most sweet to my remembrance even when age 



202 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Had dimmed mine eyes to blindness ! They, mean 
while, 

Friends, whom I never more may meet again, 
On springy heath, along the hill-top edge, 
Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance, 
To that still roaring dell, of which I told ; 
The roaring dell, o erwooded, narrow, deep, 
And only speckled by the mid-day sun ; 
Where its slim trunk the ash from rock to rock 
Flings arching like a bridge ; that branchless ash, 
Unsunned and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves 
Ne er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still, 
Fanned by the water-fall ! and there my friends 
Behold the dark green file of long lank weeds, 1 
That all at once (a most fantastic sight !) 
Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge 
Of the blue clay-stone. 

Now, my friends emerge 

Beneath the wide wide Heaven and view again 
The many-steepled tract magnificent 
Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea, 
With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up 
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two Isles 
Of purple shadow ! Yes ! they wander on 
In gladness all ; but thou, methinks, most glad, 

1 Of long lank weeds.] The asplenium scolopendrium, 
called in some countries the Adder s Tongue, in others the 
Hart s Tongue : but Withering gives the Adder s Tongue 
as the trivial name of the ophioglossum only. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 203 

My gentle-hearted Charles ! for thou hast pined 
And hungered after Nature, many a year, 
In the great City pent, winning thy way 
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain 
And strange calamity ! Ah ! slowly sink 
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious sun ! 
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb, 
Ye purple heath-flowers ! richlier burn, ye clouds 
Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves ! 
And kindle, thou blue ocean ! So my Friend 
Struck with deep joy may stand, as I have stood, 
Silent with swimming sense ; yea, gazing round 
On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem 
Less gross than bodily ; and of such hues 
As veil the Almighty Spirit, when yet he makes 
Spirits perceive his presence. 

A delight 

Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad 
As I myself were there ! Nor in this bower, 
This little lime-tree bower, have I not marked 
Much that has soothed me. Pale beneath the blaze 
Hung the transparent foliage ; and I watched 
Some broad and sunny leaf, and loved to see 
The shadow of the leaf and stem above 
Dappling its sunshine ! And that walnut-tree 
Was richly tinged, and a deep radiance lay 
Full on the ancient ivy, which usurps 
Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest mass 
Makes their dark branches i^leam a lighter hue 






204 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Through the late twilight: and though now the bat 
Wheels silent by, and not a swallow twitters, 
Yet still the solitary humble bee 
Sings in the bean-flower ! Henceforth I shall know 
That Nature ne er deserts the wise and pure ; 
No plot so narrow, be but Nature there, 
No waste so vacant, but may well employ 
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart 
Awake to Love and Beauty ! and sometimes 
Tis well to be bereft of promised good, 
That we may lift the Soul, and contemplate 
With lively joy the joys we cannot share. 
My gentle-hearted Charles ! when the last rook 
Beat its straight path along the dusky air 
Homewards, I blest it ! deeming, its black wing 
(Now a dim speck, now vanishing in light) 
Had crossed the mighty orb s dilated glory, 
While thou stood st gazing ; or when all was still, 
1 Flew creeking o er thy head, and had a charm 
For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to \vhom 
No sound is dissonant which tells of Life. 

1 Flew creeking.~\ Some months after I had written this 
line, it gave me pleasure to find that Bartram had ob 
served the same circumstance of the Savanna Crane. 
" When these Birds move their wings in flight, their 
strokes are slow, moderate and regular ; and even when at 
a considerable distance or high above us, we plainly hear 
the quill-feathers ; their shafts and webs upon one another 
creek as the joints or working of a vessel in a tempestuous 
sea. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



205 



TO A FRIEND 

WHO HAD DECLARED HIS INTENTION OF WRITING 
NO MORE POETRY. 

DEAR Charles ! whilst yet thou wert a babe, I ween 

That Genius plunged thee in that wizard fount 

Hight Castalie : and (sureties of thy faith) 

That Pity and Simplicity stood by, 

And promised for thee, that thou shouldst renounce 

The world s low cares and lying vanities, 

Steadfast and rooted in the heavenly Muse, 

And washed and sanctified to Poesy. 

Yes thou wert plunged, but with forgetful hand 

Held, as by Thetis erst her warrior son : 

And with those recreant unbaptized heels 

Thou rt flying from thy bounden minist ries 

So sore it seems and burthensome a task 

To weave unwithering flowers ! But take thou need : 

For thou art vulnerable, wild-eyed boy, 

And I have arrows 1 mystically dipt, 

Such as may stop thy speed. Is thy Burns dead ? 

And shall he die unwept, and sink to earth 

" Without the meed of one melodious tear ?" 

Thy Burns, and Nature s own beloved bard, 

Who to the " Illustrious 2 of his native Lana 

1 Find. Olymp. ii. 1. 150. 

2 Verbatim from Burns dedication of his Poem to the 
Nobility and Gentry of the Caledonian Hunt. 



05 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

So properly did look for patronage." 
Ghost of Maecenas ! hide thy blushing face ! 
They snatched him from the sickle and the plough 
To gauge ale-firkins. 

Oh ! for shame return ! 

On a bleak rock, midway the Aonian mount, 
There stands a lone and melancholy tree, 
Whose aged branches to the midnight blast 
Make solemn music : pluck its darkest bough, 
Ere yet the unwholesome night-dew be exhaled, 
And weeping wreath it round thy Poet s tomb. 
Then in the outskirts, where pollutions grow, 
Pick the rank henbane and the dusky flowers 
Of night-shade, or its red and tempting fruit, 
These with stopped nostril and glove-guarded hand 
Knit in nice intertexture, so to twine, 
The illustrious brow of Scotch Nobility. 

179G. 



TO WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. 

COMPOSED ON THE NIGHT AFTER HIS RECITATION 

OF A POEM ON THE GROWTH OF AN 

INDIVIDUAL MIND. 

FRIEND of the wise ! and teacher of the good ! 
Into my heart have I received that lay 
More than historic, that prophetic lay 
Wherein (high theme by thee first sung aright) 



SIBYLLIXE LEAVES. 207 

Of the foundations and the building up 

Of a Human Spirit thou hast dared to tell 

What may be told, to the understanding- mind 

Revealable ; and what within the mind 

By vital breathings secret as the soul 

Of vernal growth, oft quickens in the heart 

Thoughts all too deep for words ! 

Theme hard as high 

Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears, 
(The first-born they of Reason and twin-birth) 
Of tides obedient to external force, 
And currents self-determined, as might seem, 
Or by some inner power ; of moments awful, 
Now in thy inner life, and now abroad, 
When power streamed from thee, and thy soul re 
ceived 

The light reflected, as a light bestowed 
Of fancies fair, and milder hours of youth, 
Hyblean murmurs of poetic thought 
Industrious in its joy, in vales and glens 
Native or outland. lakes and famous hills ! 
Or on the lonely high-road, when the stars 
Were rising ; or by secret mountain-streams, 
The guides and the companions of thy way ! 



Of more than Fancy, of the Social Sense 
Distending wide, and man beloved as man, 
Where France in all her towns lay vibrating 
Like some becalmed bark beneath the burst 



208 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Of Heaven s immediate thunder, when no cloud 

Is visible, or shadow on the main. 

For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded, 

Amid the tremor of a realm aglow, 

Amid a mighty nation jubilant, 

When from the general heart of human kind 

Hope sprang forth like a full-born Deity ! 

Of that dear Hope afflicted and struck down, 

So summoned homeward, thenceforth calm and sure 
From the dread watch-tower of man s absolute self, 
With light unwaning on her eyes, to look 
Far on herself a glory to behold, 
The Angel of the vision ! Then (last strain) 
Of Duty, chosen laws controlling choice, 
Action and joy ! An Orphic song indeed, 
A song divine of high and passionate thoughts 
To their own music chanted . 

O great Bard ! 

Ere yet that last strain dying awed the air, 
With steadfast eye I viewed thee in the choir 
Of ever-enduring men. The truly great 
Have all one age, and from one visible space 
Shed influence ! They, both in power and act, 
Are permanent, and Time is not with them, 
Save as it worketh for them, they in it. 
Nor less a sacred roll, than those of old, 
And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame 
Among the archives of mankind, thy work 
Makes audible a linked lay of Truth, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 209 

Of Truth profound a sweet continuous lay, 

Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes ! 

Ah ! as I listened with a heart forlorn, 

The pulses of my being beat anew : 

And even as life returns upon the drowned, 

Life s joy rekindling 1 roused a throng of pains 

Keen pangs of Love, awakening as a babe 

Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart ; 

And fears self-willed, that shunned the eye of 

hope ; 

And hope that scarce would know itself from fear; 
Sense of past youth, and manhood come in vain, 
And genius given, and knowledge won in vain; 
And all which I had culled in wood-walks wild, 
And all which patient toil had reared, and all, 
Commune with thee had opened out but flowers 
Strewed on my corse, and borne upon my bier, 
In the same coffin, for the self-same grave ! 

That way no more ! and ill beseems it me, 
Who came a welcomer in herald s guise, 
Singing of glory, and futurity, 
To wander back on such unhealthful road, 
Plucking the poisons of self-harm ! And ill 
Such intertwine beseems triumphal wreaths 
Strewed before thy advancing ! 

Nor do thou, 

Sage Bard ! impair the memory of that hour 
Of thy communion with my nobler mind 
VOL. i. p 



210 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

By pity or grief, already felt too long- ! 
Nor let my words import more blame than needs. 
The tumult rose and ceased : for peace is nigh 
Where wisdom s voice has found a listening heart. 
Amid the howl of more than wintry storms, 
The halcyon hears the voice of vernal hours 
Already on the wing. 

Eve following eve, 

Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of Home 
Is sweetest ! moments for their own sake hailed 
And more desired, more precious for thy song, 
In silence listening, like a devout child, 
My soul lay passive, by thy various strain 
Driven as in surges now beneath the stars, 
With momentary stars of my own birth, 
Fair constellated foam, 1 still darting off 
Into the darkness ; now a tranquil sea, 
Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the moon. 

And when Friend ! my comforter and guide ! 
Strong in thyself, and powerful to give strength !- 
Thy long sustained Song finally closed, 

1 " A beautiful white cloud of foam at momentary in 
tervals coursed by the side of the vessel with a roar, and 
little stars of flame danced and sparkled and went out in 
it: and every now and then light detachments of this white 
cloud-like foam darted off from the vessel s side, each with 
its own small constellation, over the sea, and scoured out 
of sight like a Tartar troop over a wilderness." The 
Friend, p. 220. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 211 

And thy deep voice had ceased yet thou thyself 
Wert still before my eyes, and round us both 
That happy vision of beloved faces 
Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its close 
I sate, my being blended in one thought 
(Thought was it ? or aspiration ? or resolve ?) 
Absorbed, yet hanging still upon the sound 
And when I rose, I found myself in prayer. 



THE NIGHTINGALE; 

A CONVERSATION POEM. APRIL, 1798. 

No cloud, no relique of the sunken day 
Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip 
Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues. 
Come, we will rest on this old mossy bridge ! 
You see the glimmer of the stream beneath, 
But hear no murmuring : it flows silently, 
O er its soft bed of verdure. All is still, 
A balmy night ! and though the stars be dim, 
Yet let us think upon the vernal showers 
That gladden the green earth, and we shall find 
A pleasure in the dimness of the stars. 
And hark ! the Nightingale begins its song, 
" Most musical, most melancholy" bird! l 

1 " Most musical, most melancholy."] This passage in 
Milton possesses an excellence far superior to that of mere 



212 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

A melancholy bird ! Oh ! idle thought ! 

In nature there is nothing melancholy. 

But some night-wandering man whose heart was 

pierced 

With the remembrance of a grievous wrong, 
Or slow distemper, or neglected love, 
(And so, poor wretch ! filled all things with himself, 
And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale 
Of his own sorrow) he, and such as he, 
First named these notes a melancholy strain. 
And many a poet echoes the conceit ; 
Poet who hath been building up the rhyme 
When he had better far have stretched his limbs 
Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell, 
By sun or moon-light, to the influxes 
Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements 
Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song 
And of his fame forgetful ! so his fame 
Should share in Nature s immortality, 
A venerable thing ! and so his song 
Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself 
Be loved like Nature ! But twill not be so ; 
And youths an 1 maidens most poetical, 
Who lose the deepening twilights of the spring 
In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still 



description. It is spoken in the character of the melancholy 
man, and has therefore a dramatic propriety. The author 
makes this remark, to rescue himself from the charge of 
having alluded with levity, to a line in Milton. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 213 

Full of. meek sympathy must heave their sighs 
O er Philomela s pity^pleading strains. 

My Friend, and thou, our Sister ! we have learnt 
A- different lore : we may not thus profane 
Nature s sweet voices, always full of love 
And joyance ! Tis the merry Nightingale 
That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates 
With fast thick warble his delicious notes, 
As he were fearful that- an. April night 
Would be too short for him to utter forth 
His love-chant, and disburden his full soul 
Of all its music! 

And I, know a grove 
Of large extent, hard by a castle huge,. 
Which the great lord inhabits not ; and so 
This grove is wild with tangling underwood, 
And the trim walks are broken up, and grass, 
Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths. 
But never elsewhere in one place I knew 
So many nightingales ; and far and near, 
In wood and thicket, over the wide grove, 
They answer and provoke each other s song, 
With skirmish and capricious passagings, 
And murmurs musical and swift jug jug, 
And one low piping sound more sweet than all 
Stirring the air with such a harmony, 
That should you close your eyes, you might almost 
Forget it was not day! On moon-lit bushes, 



- 14 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Whose dewy leaflets are but half disclosed, 
You may perchance behold them on the twigs, 
Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright 

and full, 

Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade 
Lights up her love-torch. 

A most gentle Maid, 
Who dwelleth in her hospitable home 
Hard by the castle, and at latest eve 
(Even like a Lady vowed and dedicate 
To something more than Nature in the grove) 
Glides through the pathways ; she knows all their 

notes, 

That gentle Maid ! and oft a moment s space, 
What time the moon was lost behind a cloud, 
Hath heard a pause of silence ; till the moon 
Emerging", hath awakened earth and sky 
With one sensation, and these wakeful birds 
Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy, 
As if some sudden gale had swept at once 
A hundred airy harps] And she hath watched 
Many a nightingale perched giddily 
On blossomy twig still swinging from the breeze, 
And to that motion tune his wanton song 
Like tipsy joy that reels with tossing head. 

Farewell, O Warbler ! till to-morrow eve, 
And you, my friends ! farewell, a short farewell ! 
We have been loitering long and pleasantly, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 215 

And now for our dear homes. That strain again! 

Full fain it would delay me ! My dear babe, 

Who, capable of no articulate sound, 

Mars all thing s with his imitative lisp, 

How he would place his hand beside his ear, 

His little hand, the small forefinger up, 

And bid us listen ! And I deem it wise 

To make him Nature s play-mate. He knows well 

The evening-star ; and once, when he awoke 

In most distressful mood (some inward pain 

Had made up that strange thing, an infant s 

dream. ) 

I hurried with him to our orchard-plot, 
And he beheld the moon, and, hushed at once, 
Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently, 
While his fair eyes, that swam with undropped tears, 
Did glitter in the yellow moon-beam ! Well I 
It is a father s tale : But if that Heaven 
Should give me life, his childhood shall grow up 
Familiar with these songs, that with the night 
He may associate joy. Once more, farewell, 
Sweet Nightingale ! Once more, my friends ! fare 
well. 



216 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



FROST AT MIDNIGHT. 

THE frost performs its secret ministry, 
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet s cry 
Came loud and hark, again ! loud as before. 
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest, 
Have left me to that solitude, which suits 
Abstruser musings : save that at my side 
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully. 
*Tis calm indeed ! so calm, that it disturbs 
And vexes meditation with its strange 
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood, 
This populous village ! Sea, and hill, and wood, 
With all the numberless goings on of life, 
Inaudible as dreams ! the thin blue flame 
Lies on my low burnt fire, and quivers not ; 
Only that film, which fluttered on the grate, 
Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing. 
Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature 
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live, 
Making it a companionable form, 
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit 
By its own moods interprets, every where 
Echo or mirror seeking of itself, 
And makes a toy of Thought. 

But ! how oft, 
How oft, at school, with most believing mind, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 217 

Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars, 
To watch that fluttering- stranger ! and as oft 
With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt 
Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower, 
Whose bells, the poor man s only music, rang 
From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day, 
So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me 
With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear 
Most like articulate sounds of things to come ! 
So gazed I, till the soothing things I dreamt 
Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams ! 
And so I brooded all the following morn, 
Awed by the stern preceptor s face, mine eye 
Fixed with mock study on my swimming book : 
Save if the door half opened, and I snatched 
A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up, 
For still I hoped to see the stranger s face, 
Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved, 
My play-mate when we both were clothed alike ! 

Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side, 
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm, 
Fill up the interspersed vacancies 
And momentary pauses of the thought ! 
My babe so beautiful ! it thrills my heart 
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee, 
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore 
And in far other scenes ! For I was reared 
In the great city, pent mid cloisters dim, 
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars. 



218 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

But thou, my babe ! shalt wander like a breeze 
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags 
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds, 
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores 
And mountain crags : so shalt thou see and hear 
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible 
Of that eternal language, which thy God 
Utters, who from eternity doth teach 
Himself in all, and all things in himself. 
Great universal Teacher ! he shall mould 
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask. 

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee, 
Whether the summer clothe the general earth 
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing 
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch 
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch 
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eve-drops fall 
Heard only in the trances of the blast, 
Or if the secret ministry of frost 
Shall hang them up in silent icicles, 
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



219 



THE THREE GRAVES. 

A FRAGMENT OF A SEXTON S TALE. 

[THE Author has published the following humble fragment, 
encouraged by the decisive recommendation of more than 
one of our most celebrated living Poets. The language was 
intended to be dramatic; that is suited to the narrator; and 
the metre corresponds to the homeliness of the diction. It 
is therefore presented as the fragment, not of a Poem, but 
of a common Ballad-tale. Whether this is sufficient to justify 
the adoption of such a style, in any metrical composition 
not professedly ludicrous, the Author is himself in some 
doubt. At all events, it is not presented as poetry, and it 
is in no way connected with the Author s judgment con 
cerning poetic diction. Its merits, if any, are exclusively 
psychological. The story which must be supposed to have 
been narrated in the first and second parts is as follows. 

Edward, a young fanner, meets at the house of Ellen her 
bosom-friend Mary, and commences an acquaintance, which 
ends in a mutual attachment. With her consent, and by 
the advice of their common friend Ellen, he announces his 
hopes and intentions to Mary s mother, a widow-woman 
bordering on her fortieth year, and from constant health 
the possession of a competent property, and from having 
had no other children but Mary and another daughter (the 
father died in their infancy), retaining for the greater part, 
her personal attractions and comeliness of appearance ; but 
a woman of low education and violent temper. The answer 
which she at once returned to Edward s application was 
remarkable " Well, Edward ! you are a handsome young 
fellow, and you shall have my daughter." From this time 
all their wooing passed under the mother s eye ; and, m 
fine, she became herself enamoured of her future son-in-law, 
and practised every art, both of endearment and of calumny, 



220 SIBYLjaXE LEAVES. 

to transfer his affections from her daughter to herself. (The 
outlines of the Tale are positive facts, and of no very dis 
tant date, though the author has. purposely altered the 
names and the scene of action, as well as invented the 
characters of tlie parties and the detail of the incidents.) 
Edward, however, though perplexed by her strange de 
tractions frpm her daughter s good qualities, yet in the in 
nocence of his own, heart still mistaking her increasing 
fondness for motherly affection ; she at length, overcome by 
her miserable passion, after much abuse of Mary s temper 
and moral tendencies, exclaimed with violent emotion " O 
Edward ! indeed, indeed, she is not fit for you she has 
not a heart to love you as you deserve. It is I that love 
. you ! Marry me, Edward ! and I will this very day settle 
all my property on you." The Lover s eyes were now opened ; 
and thus takea by surprise, whether from the effect of the 
horror which he felt, acting as it were hysterically on his 
nervous system, or that at the first moment he lost the 
sense of guilt of the proposal in the feeling of its strange 
ness and absurdity, he flung her from him and burst into a 
fit of laughter. Irritated by this almost to frenzy, the 
woman fell on her knees, and in a loud voice that ap 
proached to a scream, she prayed for a curse both on him 
and on her own child. Mary happened to be in the room di 
rectly above them, heard Edward s laugh, and her mother s 
blasphemous prayer, and fainted away. He, hearing the 
fall, ran up stairs, and taking her in his arms, carried her 
off to Ellen s home ; and after some fruitless attempts on 
her part toward a reconciliation with her mother, she was 
married to him. And here the third part of the Tale 
begins. 

I was not led to choose this story from any partiality to 
tragic, much less to mpnstrous events (though at the time 
that I composed the verses, somewhat more than twelve 
years ago, I was less averse to such subjects than at pre 
sent), but from finding in it a striking proof of the possible 
effect on the imagination, from an Idea violently and sud- 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 221 

denly impressed on it. I had been reading Bryan Ed- 
wards s account of the effect of the Oby witchcraft on the 
Negroes in the West Indies, and Hearne s deeply interest 
ing anecdotes of similar workings on the imagination of 
the Copper Indians (those of my readers who have it in 
their power will be well repaid for the trouble of referring 
to those works for the passages alluded to) and I conceived 
the design of showing that instances of this kind are not 
peculiar to savage or barbarous tribes, and of illustrating 
the mode in which the mind is affected in these cases, and 
the progress and symptoms of the morbid action on the 
fancy from the beginning. 

The Tale is supposed to be narrated by an old Sexton, 
in a country church-yard, to a traveller whose curiosity 
had been awakened by the appearance of three graves, close 
by each other, to two only of which there were grave 
stones. On the first of these was the name, and dates, as 
usual : on the second, no name, but only a date, and the 
words, " The Mercy of God is infinite."] 

1818. 

THE grapes upon the Vicar s wall 

Were ripe as ripe could be ; 
And yellow leaves in sun and wind 

Were falling: from the tree. 



o 



On the hedge-elms in the narrow lane 
Still swung the spikes of corn : 

Dear Lord ! it seems but yesterday 
Young Edward s marriage-morn. 

Up through that wood behind the church, 
There leads from Edward s door 

A mossy track, all over bougbed, 
For half a mile or more. 



2 22 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

And from their house-door by that track 
The bride and bridegroom went ; 

Sweet Mary, though she was not gay, 
Seemed cheerful and content. 

But when they to the church-yard came, 

I ve heard poor Mary say, 
As soon as she stepped into the sun, 

Her heart it died away. 

* 

And when the Vicar joined their hands, 
Her limbs did creep and freeze ; 

But when they prayed, she thought she saw 
Her mother on her knees. 

And o er the church-path they returned - 

I saw poor Mary s back, 
Just as she stepped beneath the boughs 

Into the mossy track. 

Her feet upon the mossy track 
The married maiden set : 

That moment I have heard her say- 
She wished she could forget. 

The shade o er-flushed her limbs with heat 

Then came a chill like death: 
And when the merry bells rang out, 

They seemed to stop her breath. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 223 

Beneath the foulest mother s curse 

No child could ever thrive : 
A mother is a mother still, 

The holiest thing alive. 

So five months passed : the mother still 

Would never heal the strife ; 
But Edward was a loving man, 

And Mary a fond wife. 

i 

" My sister may not visit us, 
My mother says her nay : 

Edward ! you are all to me, 

1 wish for your sake I could be 

More lifesome and more gay. 

" I m dull and sad ! indeed, indeed 

I know I have no reason ! 
Perhaps I am not well in health, 

And tis a gloomy season." 

Tu*as a drizzly time no ice, no snow ! 

And on the few fine days 
She stirred not out, lest she might meet 

Her mother in the ways. 

But Ellen, spite of miry ways 
And weather dark and drear v, 



Trudged every day to Edward s house, 
And made them all more cheery. 



224 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



Oh ! Ellen was a faithful friend, 

More dear than any sister ! 
As cheerful too as singing- lark ; 
And she ne er left them till twas dark, 

And then they always missed. her. 

And now Ash- Wednesday came that day 

But few to church repair : 
For on that day you know we read 

The Commination prayer. 

Our late old Vicar, a kind man, 

Once, Sir, he said to me, 
He wished that service was clean out 

Of our good liturgy. 

The mother walked into the church 

To Ellen s seat she went : 
Though Ellen always kept her church 

All church-days during Lent. 

And gentle Ellen welcomed her 
With courteous looks and mild : 

Thought she " what if her heart should melt, 
And all be reconciled !" 

The day was scarcely like a day 
The clouds were black outright : 

And many a night, with half a moon, 
I ve seen the church more li^-ht. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 225 

The wind was Avild ; against the glass 

The rain did beat and bicker ; 
, The church-tower swing-ing- over head, 
You scarce could hear the Vicar ! 

And then and there the mother knelt, 

And audibly she cried 
Oh ! may a clinging curse consume 
This woman by my side ! 

O hear me, hear me, Lord in Heaven, 
Although you take my life 

curse this woman, at whose house 
Young Edward woo d his wife. 

By night and day, in bed and bower, 

let her cursed be !" 
So having prayed, steady and slow, 

She rose up from her knee, 
And left the church, nor e er again 

The church-door entered she. 

1 saw poor Ellen kneeling still, 

So pale, I guessed not why : 
When she stood up, there plainly was 
A trouble in her eye. 

And when the prayers were done, we all 
Came round and asked her why : 

Giddy she seemed, and sure, there was 
A trouble in her eye. 

VOL. I. Q 



226 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

But ere she from the church-door stepped 
She smiled and told us why : 

" It was , wicked woman s curse," 
Quoth she, " and what care I ?" 

She smiled, and smiled, and passed it off 
Ere from the door she stept 

But all agree it would have been 
Much better had she wept. 

And if her heart was not at ease, 
This was her constant cry 

" It was a wicked woman s curse 
God s good, and what care I ? 7 

There was a hurry in her looks, 
Her struggles she redoubled : 

" It was a wicked woman s curse, 
And why should I be troubled ?" 

These tears will come I dandled her 
When twas the merest fairy 

Good creature ! and she hid it all : 
She told it not to Mary. 

But Mary heard the tale : her arms 
Round Ellen s neck she threw ; 

" Ellen, Ellen, she cursed me, 
And now she hath cursed vou I" 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 227 

I saw young Edward by himself 

Stalk fast adown the lee, 
He snatched a- stick from every fence, 

A twig 1 from every tree. 

He snapped them still with hand or knee, 

And then away they flew ! 
As if with his uneasy limbs 

He knew not what to do ! 

You see, good sir ! that single hill ? 

His farm lies underneath : 
He heard it there, he heard it all, 

And only gnashed his teeth. 

Now Ellen was a darling love 

In all his joys and cares : 
And Ellen s name and Mary s name 
Fast-linked they both together came, 

Whene er he said his prayers. 

And in the moment of his prayers 

He loved them both alike : 
Yea, both sweet names with one sweet joy 

Upon his heart did strike ! 

He reach d his home, and by his looks 

They saw his inward strife : 
And they clung round him with their arms, 

Both Ellen and his wife. 



228 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

And Mary could not check her tears, 
So on his breast she bowed ; 

Then frenzy melted into grief, 
And Edward wept aloud. 

Dear Ellen did not weep at all, 
But closelier did she cling, 

And turned her face and looked as if 
She saw some frightful thing. 



THE THREE GRAVES. 

PART IV. 

To see a man tread over graves 

I hold it no good mark ; 
Tis wicked in the sun and moon, 

And bad luck in the dark ! 

You see that grave ? The Lord he gives, 

The Lord he takes away ; 
O Sir ! the child of my old age 

Lies there as cold as clay. 

Except that grave, you scarce see one 
That was not dug by me ; v 

I d rather dance upon em all 
Than tread upon these three ! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 229 

" Ay, Sexton ! tis a touching- tale." 

You, Sir ! are but a lad ; 
This month I m in my seventieth year, 

And still it makes me sad. 

And Mary s sister told it me, 

For three good hours and more ; 
Though I had heard it, in the main, 

From Edward s self before. 

Well ! it passed off ! the gentle Ellen 

Did well nigh dote on Mary ; 
And she went oftener than before, 
And Mary loved her more and more : 

She managed all the dairy. 

To market she on market-days, 

To church on Sundays came ; 
All seemed the same : all seemed so, Sir ! 

But all was riot the same ! 

Had Ellen lost her mirth ? Oh ! no ! 

But she was seldom cheerful ; 
And Edward looked as if he thought 

That Ellen s mirth was fearful. 

When by herself, she to herself 

Must sing some merry rhyme ; 
She could not now be glad for hours, 

Yet silent all the time. 



2 )0 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

And when she soothed her friend, through all 

Her soothing words twas plain 
She had asore grief of her own, 

A haunting in her brain. 



o 



And oft she said, I m not grown thin 
And then her wrist she spanned ; 

And once when Mary was down-cast, 
She took her by the hand, 

And gazed upon her, and at first 
She gently pressed her hand ; 

Then harder, till her grasp at length 

Did gripe like a convulsion ! 
Alas ! said she, we ne er can be 

Made happy by compulsion ! 

And once her both arms suddenly 
Round Mary s neck she flung, 

And her heart panted, and she felt 
The words upon her tongue. 

She felt them coming, but no power 
Had she the words to smother ; 

And with a kind of shriek she cried, 
" Oh Christ ! you re like your mother ! 

So gentle Ellen now no more 

Could make this sad house cheery ; 

And Mary s melancholy ways 
Drove Edward wild and weary. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 231 

Lingering he raised his latch at eve, 

Though tired in heart and limb : 
He loved no other place, and yet 

Home was no home to him. 

One evening he took up a book, 

And nothing in it read ; 
Then flung it down, and groaning cried, 

" Oh ! Heaven ! that I were dead." 

Maiy looked up into his face, 

And nothing to him said ; 
She tried to smile, and on his arm 

Mournfully leaned her head. 

And ne burst into tears, and fell 

Upon his knees in prayer : 
" Her heart is broke ! O God! my grief, 

It is too great to bear!" 

Twas such a foggy time as makes 

Old sextons, Sir! like me, 
Rest on their spades to cough ; the spring 

Was late uncommonly. 

And then the hot days, all at once, 

They came, we knew not how : 
You looked about for shade, when scarce 

A leaf was on a bough. 



232 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



It happened then ( twas in the bower 

A furlong- up the wood : 
Perhaps you know the place, and yet 

I scarce know how you should, ) 

No path leads thither, tis not nigh 

To any pasture-plot ; 
But clustered near the chattering brook, 

Lone hollies marked the spot. 

Those hollies of themselves a shape 

As of an arbour took, 
A close, round arbour ; and it stands 

Not three strides from a brook. 

Within this arbour, which was still 

With scarlet berries hung, 
Were these three friends, one Sunday morn 

Just as the first bell rung. 

Tis sweet to hear a brook, tis sweet 

To hear the Sabbath-bell, 
Tis sweet to hear them both at once, 

Deep in a woody dell. 

His limbs along the moss, his head 

Upon a mossy heap, 
With shut-up senses, Edward lay : 
That brook e en on a working day 

Might chatter one to sleep. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 233 

And he had passed a restless night, 

And was not well in health ; 
The women sat down by his side, 

And talked as twere by stealth. 

11 The sun peeps through the close thick leaves, 

See, dearest Ellen ! see ! 
Tis in the leaves, a little sun, 

No bigger than your ee ; 

" A tiny sun, and it has got 

A perfect glory too ; 
Ten thousand threads and hairs of light, 
Make up a glory, gay and bright, 

Round that small orb, so blue." 

And then they argued of those rays, 

What colour they might be ; 
Says this, " they re mostly green ;" says that, 

" They re amber-like to me." 

So they sat chatting, while bad thoughts 

Were troubling Edward s rest ; 
But soon they heard his hard quick pants, 

And the thumping in his breast. 

" A mother too !" these self-same words 

Did Edward mutter plain ; 
His face was drawn back on itself, 

With horror and huge pain. 



234 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Both groaned at once, for both knew well 
What thoughts were in his mind ; 

When he waked up, and stared like one 
That hath been just struck blind. 

He sat upright ; and ere the dream 

Had had time to depart, 
" O God, forgive me! (he exclaimed) 

I have torn out her heart." 

Then Ellen shrieked, and forthwith burst 

Into ungentle laughter ; 
And Mary shivered, where she sat, 

And never she smiled after. 



Carmen reliquum in futurum tempus relegatum. To 
morrow ! and To-morrow ! and To-morrow ! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 235 



ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



DEJECTION: AN ODE. 

Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon, 
With the old Moon in her arms ; 
And I tear, I fear, my Master dear ! 
We shall have a deadly storm. 

BALLAD OF SIR PATRICK SPENCE. 
I. 

WELL ! If the Bard was weather-wise, who made 
The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence, 
This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence 
Unroused by winds, that ply a busier trade 
Than those which mould yon cloud in lazy flakes, 
Or the dull sobbing draft, that moans and rakes 
Upon the strings of this Eolian lute, 
Which better far were mute. 
For lo ! the New-moon winter-bright ! 
And overspread with phantom light, 
(With swimming phantom light o erspread 
But rimmed and circled by a silver thread) 
I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling 

The coming on of rain and squally blast. 
And oh ! that even now the gust were swelling, 
And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast ! 



236 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Those sounds which oft have raised me, whilst they 
And sent my soul abroad, [awed, 

Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give, 
Might startle this dull pain, and make it move and 
live ! 

ii. 

A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear, 
A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief, 
Which finds no natural outlet, no relief, 
In word, or sigh, or tear 

Lady ! in this wan and heartless mood, 
To other thoughts by yonder throstle woo d, 

All this long eve, so balmy and serene, 
Have I been gazing on the western sky, 

And its peculiar tint of yellow green : 
And still I gaze and with how blank an eye ! 
And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars, 
That give away their motion to the stars ; 
Those stars, that glide behind them or between, 
Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but always seen : 
Yon crescent Moon as fixed as if it grew 
In its own clou Hess, starless lake of blue ; 

1 see them all so excellently fair, 

I see, not feel how beautiful they are ! 

in. 

My genial spirits fail ; 
And what can these avail 
To lift the smothering weight from off my breast? 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 237 

It were a vain endeavour, 
Though I should o-aze for ever 

o o 

On that green light that lingers in the west : 

I may not hope from outward forms to win 

The passion and the life, whose fountains are within. 

IV. 

O Lady ! we receive but what we give, 

And in our life alone does nature live : 

Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud ! 

And would we aught behold, of higher worth, 
Than that inanimate cold world allowed 
To the poor loveless ever- anxious crowd, 

Ah ! from the soul itself must issue forth, 
A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud 

Enveloping the Earth 
And from the soul itself must there be sent 

A sweet and potent voice, of its own birth, 
Of all sweet sounds the life and element ! 

v. 

O pure of heart ! thou need st not ask of me 
What this strong music in the soul may be ! 
What, and wherein it doth exist, 
This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist, 
This .beautiful and beauty-making power. 

Joy, virtuous Lady ! Joy that ne er was given, 
Save to the pure, and in their purest hour, 
Life, and Life s effluence, cloud at once and 
shower, 



238 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power, 
Which wedding 1 Nature to us gives in dower, 

A new Earth and new Heaven, 
Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud 
Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud 

We in ourselves rejoice ! 
And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight, 

All melodies the echoes of that voice, 
All colours a suffusion from that light. 

VI. 

There was a time when, though my path was rough, 
This joy within me dallied with distress, 

And all misfortunes were but as the stuff 

Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness : 

For hope grew round me, like the twining 1 vine, 

And fruits, and foliage, not my own, seemed mine. 

But now afflictions bow me down to earth : 

Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth, 
But oh! each visitation 

Suspends what nature gave me at my birth, 
My shaping spirit of Imagination. 

For not to th nk of what I needs must feel, 
But to be still and patient, all I can ; 

And haply by abstruse research to steal 

From my own nature all the natural man 
This was my sole resource, my only plan : 

Till that which suits a part infects the whole, 

And now is almost grown the habit of my soul. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 239 

V 7 II. 

Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind, 

Reality s dark dream ! 
I turn from you, and listen to the wind, 

Which long has raved unnoticed. What a scream 
Of agony by torture lengthened out 
That lute sent forth ! Thou Wind, that ravest 

without, 

Bare craig, or mountam-tairn, 1 or blasted tree, 
Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb, 
Or lonely house, long held the witches home, 

Methinks were fitter instruments for thee, 
Mad Lutanist ! who in this month of showers, 
Of dark brown gardens, and of peeping flowers, 
Mak st Devils yule, with worse than wintry song, 
The blossoms, buds, and timorous leaves among. 

Thou Actor, perfect in all tragic sounds ! 
Thou mighty Poet, e en to frenzy bold ! 
What tell st thou now about ? 
Tis of the rushing of a host in rout, 
With groans cf trampled men, with smarting 

wounds 

At once they groan with pain, and shudder with 
the cold ! 

Tairn is a small lake, generally if not always applied 
to the lakes up in the mountains, and which are the 
feeders of those in the valleys. This address to the Storm- 
wind will not appear extravagant to those who have heard 
it at night, and in a mountainous country. 



240 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

But hush ! there is a pause of deepest silence 

And all that noise, as of a rushing crowd, 
With groans, and tremulous shudderings all is 

over 

It tells another tale,, with sounds less deep and 
A tale of less affright, [loud ! 

And tempered with delight, 
As Otway s self had framed the tender lay, 
Tis of a little child 
Upon a lonesome wild, 

Not far from home, hut she hath lost her way : 
And now moans low in bitter grief and fear, 
And now screams loud, and hopes to make her 
mother hear. 

VIII. 

Tis midnight, but small thoughts have I of sleep : 
Full seldom may my friend such vigils keep ! 
Visit her, gentle Sleep ! with wings of healing, 

And may this storm be but a mountain-birth, 
May all the stars hang bright above her dwelling, 

Silent as though they watched the sleeping 
With light heart may she rise, [Earth! 

Gay fancy, cheerful eyes, 

Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice ; 
To her may all things live, from pole to pole, 
Their life the eddying of her living soul ! 

O simple spirit, guided from above, 
Dear Lady! friend devoutest of my choice, 
Thus mayest thou ever, evermore rejoice. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 241 



ODE TO GEORGIANA, 

DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE, ON THE TWENTY- 
FOURTH STANZA IN HER " PASSAGE 
OVER MOUNT GOTHARD." 

* And hail the chapel ! hail the platform wild 
Where Tell directed the avensrinsr dart, 

O O 

With well strung arm, that first preserved his child, 
Then aimed the arrow at the tyrant s heart." 

S PLENDOUR S fondly fostered child ! 
And did you hail the platform wild, 

Where once the Austrian fell 

Beneath the shaft of Tell ! 
Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure ! 
Whence learn d you that heroic measure ? 

Light as a dream your days their circlets ran, 
From all that teaches brotherhood to Man 
Far, far removed ! from want, from hope, from fear 
Enchanting music lulled your infant ear, 
Obeisance, praises soothed your infant heart : 

Emblasonments and old ancestral crests, 
With many a bright obtrusive form of art/ 

Detained your eye from nature : stately vests, 
That veiling strove to deck your charms divine, 
Rich viands and the pleasurable wine, 

VOL. i. R 



242 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Were yours unearned by toil ; nor could you see 
The unenjoying toiler s misery. 
And yet, free Nature s uncorrupted child, 
You hailed the chapel and the platform wild. 
Where once the Austrian fell 
Beneath the shaft of Tell ! 
O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure ! 
Whence learn d you that heroic measure ? 

There crowd your finely-fibred frame, 

All living faculties of bliss ; 
And Genius to your cradle came, 
His forehead wreathed with lambent flame, 
And bending 1 low, with godlike kiss 
Breath d in a more celestial life ; 
But boasts not many a fair compeer, 

A heart as sensitive to joy and fear ? 
And some, perchance, might wage an equal strife, 
Some few, to nobler being wrought, 
Corrivals in the nobler gift of thought. 
Yet these delight to celebrate 
Laurelled war and plumy state ; 
Or in verse and music dress 
Tales of rustic happiness 
Pernicious tales ! insidious strains ! 
That steel the rich man s breast, 
And mock the lot unblest, 
The sordid vices and the abject pains, 
Which evermore must be 
The doom of ignorance arid penury ! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

But you, free Nature s uncorrupted child, 
You hailed the chapel and the platform wild, 
Where once the Austrian fell 
Beneath the shaft of Tell ! 
O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure ! 
Whence learn d you that heroic measure ? 



You were a mother ! That most holy name, 

Which Heaven and Nature bless, 
I may not vilely prostitute to those 

Whose infants owe them less 
Than the poor caterpillar owes 

Its gaudy parent fly. 
You were a mother ! at your bosom fed 
The babes that loved you. You, with laughing- 

eye, 

Each twilight-thought, each nascent feeling read, 
Which you yourself created. Oh ! delight ! 
A second time to be a mother, 

Without the mother s bitter groans : 
Another thought, and yet another, 

By touch, or taste, by looks or tones 
O er the growing sense to roll, 
The mother of your infant s soul ! 
The Angel of the Earth, who, while he guides 

His chariot-planet round the goal of day, 
All trembling gazes on the eye of God, 

A moment turned his awful face away ; 
And as he viewed you, from his aspect sweet 
New influences in your being rose, 



244 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Blest intuitions and communions fleet 

With living Nature, in her joys and woes ! 
Thenceforth your soul rejoiced to see 
The snrine of social Liberty ! 
O beautiful ! O Nature s child ! 
Twas thence you hailed the platform wild, 

Where once the Austrian fell 

Beneath the shaft of Tell ! 
O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure ! 
Thence learn d you that heroic measure. 



ODE TO TRANQUILLITY. 

TRANQUILLITY ! thou better name 
Than all the family of Fame ! 
Thou ne er wilt leave my riper age 
To low intrigue, or factious rage ; 
For oh ! dear child of thoughtful Truth, 
To thee I gave my early youth, 
And left the bark, and blest the steadfast shore, 
Ere yet the tempest rose and scared me with its 

roar. 

Who late and lingering seeks thy shrine, 
On him but seldom, Power divine 
Thy spirit rests ! Satiety 
And Sloth, poor counterfeits of thee, 
Mock the tired worldling. Idle hope 
And dire remembrance interlope, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 245 

To vex the feverish slumbers of the mind : 

The bubble floats before, the spectre stalks behind. 

But me thy gentle hand will lead 
At morning through the accustomed mead ; 
And in the sultry summer s heat 
Will build me up a mossy seat ; 
And when the gust of Autumn crowds, 
And breaks the busy moonlight clouds, 
Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart attune, 
Light as the busy clouds, calm as the gliding moon. 

The feeling heart, the searching soul, 
To thee I dedicate the whole ! 
And while within myself I trace 
The greatness of some future race, 
Aloof with hermit-eye I scan 
The present works of present man 
A wild and dream-like trade of blood and guile, 
Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile ! 



246 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



TO A YOUNG FRIEND, 

ON HIS PROPOSING TO DOMESTICATE WITH THE 
AUTHOR. COMPOSED IN 1796. 

A MOUNT, not wearisome and bare and steep, 

But a green mountain variously up-piled, 
Where o er the jutting- rocks soft mosses creep, 
Or coloured lichens with slow cosing 1 weep ; 

Where cypress and the darker yew start wild ; 
And mid the summer torrent s gentle dash 
Dance brightened the red clusters of the ash ; 

Beneath whose boughs, by those still sounds 

beguiled, 
Calm Pensiveness might muse herself to sleep ; 

Till haply startled by some fleecy dam, 
That rustling- on the bushy cliff above, 
With melancholy bleat of anxious love, 

Made meek enquiry for her wandering lamb : 

Such a green mountain twere most sweet to climb, 
E en while the bosom ached with loneliness 
How more than sweet, if some dear friend should 
bless 

The adventurous toil, and up the path sublime 
Now lead, now follow : the glad landscape round 
Wide and more wide, increasing 1 without bound ! 

O then twere loveliest sympathy, to mark 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 247 

The berries of the half-uprooted ash 

Dripping and bright; and list the torrent s dash, 

Beneath the c} T press, or the yew more dark, 
Seated at ease, on some smooth mossy rock ; 
In social silence now, and now to unlock 
The treasured heart ; arm linked in friendly arm, 
Save if the one, his muse s witching charm 
Muttering brow-bent, at unwatched distance lag ; 

Till high o er head his beckoning friend appears 
And from the forehead of the topmost crag 

Shouts eagerly : for haply there uprears 
That shadowing pine its old romantic limbs, 

Which latest shall detain the enamoured sight 
Seen from below, when eve the valley dims, 

Tinged yellow with the rich departing light ; 

And haply, basoned in some unsunned cleft, 
A beauteous spring, the rock s collected tears, 
Sleeps sheltered there, scarce wrinkled by the 
gale ! 

Together thus, the world s vain turmoil left, 
Stretched on the crag, and shadowed by the pine, 

And bending o er the clear delicious fount, 
Ah ! dearest youth ! it were a lot divine 
To cheat our noons in moralizing mood, 
While west- winds fanned our temples toil-bedewed ; 

Then downwards slope, oft pausing, from the 

mount, 

To some lone mansion, in some woody dale, 
Where smiling with blue eye, domestic bliss 
Gives this the husband s, that the brother s kiss ! 



248 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Thus rudely versed in allegoric lore, 
The Hill of Knowledge I essayed to trace ; 
That verdurous hill with many a resting-place, 
And many a stream, whose warbling waters pour 

To glad and fertilize the subject plains ; 
That hill with secret springs, and nooks untrod, 
And many a fancy-blest and holy sod 

Where Inspiration, his diviner strains 
Low murmuring, lay ; and starting from the rocks 
Stiff evergreens, whose spreading foliage mocks 
Want s barren soil, and the bleak frosts of age, 
And bigotry s mad fire-invoking rage ! 
O meek retiring spirit ! we will climb, 
Cheering and cheered, this lovely hill sublime ; 

And from the stirring world up-lifted high, 
(Whose noises, faintly wafted on the wind, 
To quiet musings shall attune the mind, 

And oft the melancholy theme supply) 

There, while the prospect through the gazing eye 

Pours all its healthful greenness on the soul, 
We ll smile at wealth, and learn to smile at fame, 
Our hopes, our knowledge, and our joys the same, 

As neighbouring fountains image, each the whole: 
Then when the mind hath drunk its fill of truth 

We ll discipline the heart to pure delight, 
Rekindling sober joy s domestic flame. 
They whom I love shall love thee, honoured youth ! 

Now may Heaven realize this vision bright ! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 249 



LINES TO W. L. 

WHILE HE SANG A SONG TO PURCELL s MUSIC. 

WHILE my young 1 cheek retains its healthful hues, 

And I have nlany friends who hold me dear ; 

L ! methinks, I would not often hear 

Such melodies as thine, lest I should lose 
All memory of the wrongs and sore distress, 

For which my miserable brethren weep ! 

But should uncomforted misfortunes steep 
My daily bread in tears and bitterness ; 
And if at death s dread moment I should lie 

With no beloved face at my bed-side, 
To fix the last glance of my closing eye, [guide, 

Methinks, such strains, breathed by my angel- 
W T ould make me pass the cup of anguish by, 

Mix with the blest, nor know that I had died ! 



ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG MAN OF FORTUNE 

WHO ABANDONED HIMSELF TO AN INDOLENT 

AND CAUSELESS MELANCHOLY. 

HENCE that fantastic wantonness of woe, 
O Youth to partial Fortune vainly dear ! 

To plundered want s half-sheltered hovel go, 
Go, and some hunger-bitten infant hear 



250 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

Moan haply in a dying mother s ear : 
Or when the cold and dismal fog-damps brood 
O er the rank church-yard with sear elm-leaves 

strewed, 
Pace round some widow s grave, whose dearer part 

Was slaughtered, where o er his uncoffined limbs 
The flocking flesh-birds screamed ! Then, while 
thy heart 

Groans, and thine eye a fiercer sorrow dims, 
Know (and the truth shall kindle thy young mind) 
What nature makes thee mourn, she bids thee heal ! 

O abject ! if, to sickly dreams resigned, 
All effortless thou leave life s common-weal 

A prey to tyrants, murderers of mankind. 



SONNET TO THE RIVER OTTER. 

DEAR native brook ! wild streamlet of the West ! 

How many various-fated years have past, 

What happy, and what mournful hours, since - 

last 

I skimmed the smooth thin stone along thy breast, 
Numbering its light leaps ! yet so deep imprest 
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes 

I never shut amid the sunny ray, 
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise, 

Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey, 
And bedded sand that, veined with various dyes, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 251 

Gleamed through thy bright transparence ! On 
my way, 

Visions of childhood ! oft have ye beguiled 
Lone manhood s cares, yet waking fondest sighs 

Ah ! that once more I were a careless child ! 



SONNET. 

COMPOSED OX A JOURNEY HOMEWARD; THE AUTHOR 

HAVING RECEIVED INTELLIGENCE OF THE 

BIRTH OF A SON, SEPT. 20, 1796. 

OFT o er my brain does that strange fancy roll 

Which makes the present (while the flash doth 
last) 

Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past 
Mixed with such feelings, as perplex the soul 
Self-questioned in her sleep ; and some have said 

We lived, ere yet this robe of flesh we wore. 

O my sweet baby ! when I reach my door, 
If heavy looks should tell me thou art dead, 
(As sometimes, through excess of hope, I fear) 
I think that I should struggle to believe 

Thou wert a spirit, to this nether sphere 
Sentenced for some more Venial crime to grieve ; 
Did st scream, then spring to meet Heaven s quick 
reprieve, 

While we wept idly o er thy little bier ! 



"H.v TTOV ripuiv t} -^v^r] irplv tv Tyds r<p 
i. Plat, in Phadon. 



252 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

SONNET. 

TO A FRIEND WHO ASKED, HOW I FELT WHEN THE 
NURSE FIRST PRESENTED MY INFANT TO ME. 

CHARLES ! my slow heart was only sad, when first 
I scanned that face of feeble infancy : 

For dimly on my thoughtful spirit burst 
All I had been, and all my child might be ! 

But when I saw it on its mother s arm, 
And hanging at her bosom (she the while 
Bent o er its features with a tearful smile) 

Then I was thrilled and melted, and most warm 

impressed a father s kiss : and all beguiled 
Of dark remembrance and presageful fear, 
I seemed to see an angel-form appear 

Twas even thine, beloved woman mild ! 

So for the mother s sake the child was dear, 

And dearer was the mother for the child. 



THE VIRGIN S CRADLE-HYMN. 

COPIED FROM 4 PRINT OF THE VIRGIN, IN A ROMAN 
CATHOLIC VILLAGE IN GERMANY. 

DORMI, Jesu ! Mater ridet 
Quae tarn dulcem somnum videt, 

Dormi, Jesu ! blandule ! 
Si non dormis, Mater plorat, 
Inter fila cantans orat, , ~ 
Blande, veni, somnule. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 253 

ENGLISH. 

Sleep, sweet babe ! my cares beguiling : 
Mother sits beside thee smiling ; 

Sleep, my darling, tenderly ! 
If thou sleep not, mother mourneth, 
Singing as her wheel she turneth : 

Come, soft slumber, balmily ! 



EPITAPH ON AN INFANT. 

ITS balmy lips the infant blest 
Relaxing from its mother s breast, 
How sweet it heaves the happy sigh 
Of innocent satiety ! 

And such my infant s latest sigh ! 
O tell, rude stone ! the passer by, 
That here the pretty babe doth lie, 
Death sang to sleep with Lullaby. 



MELANCHOLY. 
A FRAGMENT. 



STRETCH D on a mouldered Abbey s broadest wall, 
Where ruining ivies propped the ruins steep 

Her folded arms wrapping her tattered pall, 
Had melancholv mus d herself to sleep. 



254 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

The fern was press d beneath her hair, 
The dark green adder s tongue was there ; 
And still as past the flagging sea-gale weak, 
The long lank leaf bowed fluttering o er her cheek. 

That pallid cheek was flushed : her eager look 
Beamed eloquent in slumber ! Inly wrought, 
Imperfect sounds her moving lips forsook, 
And her bent forehead worked with troubled 

thought. 
Strange was the dream 



TELL S BIRTH-PLACE. 

IMITATED FROM STOLBERG. 
I. 

MARK this holy chapel well ! 
The birth-place, this, of William Tell. 
Here, where stands God s altar dread, 
Stood his parents marriage-bed. 

ii. 

Here, first, an infant to her breast, 
Him his loving mother prest ; 
And kissed the babe, and blessed the day, 
And prayed as mothers use to pray. 

in. 

" Vouchsafe him health, O God ! and give 
The child thy servant still to live !" 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 255 

But God had destined to do more 

Through him, than through an armed power. 

IV. 

God gave him reverence of laws, 

Yet stirring blood in Freedom s cause 

A spirit to his rocks akin, 

The eye of the hawk, and the fire therein ! 

v. 

To Nature and to Holy Writ 
Alone did God the boy commit : 
Where flashed and roared the torrent, oft 
His soul found wings, and soared aloft ! 

VI. 

The straining oar and chamois chase 
Had formed his limbs to strength and grace : 
On wave and wind the boy would toss, 
Was great, nor knew how great he was . 

VII. 

He knew not that his chosen hand, 
Made strong by God, his native land 
Would rescue from the shameful yoke 
Of Slavery the which he broke ! 



256 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 

< 

I. 

THE shepherds went their hasty way, 

And found the lowly stable-shed 
Where the Virgin-Mother lay : 

And now they checked their eager tread, 
For to the Babe, that at her bosom clung, 
A mother s song the Virgin-Mother sung. 

n. 

They told her how a glorious light, 

Streaming from a heavenly throng, 
Around them shone, suspending night ! 
While sweeter than a mother s song, 
Blest Angels heralded the Saviour s birth, 
Glory to God on high! and Peace on Earth. 

in. 

She listened to the tale divine, 

And closer still the Babe she prest ; 
And while she cried, the Babe is mine ! 
The milk rushed faster to her breast : 
Joy rose within her, like a summer s morn ; 
Peace, Peace on Earth ! the Prince of Peace is born. 

IV. 

Thou Mother of the Prince of Peace, 
Poor, simple, and of low estate ! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 257 

That strife should vanish, battle cease, 
O why should this thy soul elate ? 

Sweet music s loudest note, the poet s story, 

Did st thou ne er love to hear of fame and glory ? 



v. 



And is not War a youthful king-, 

A stately hero clad in mail ? 
Beneath his footsteps laurels spring ; 

Him Earth s majestic monarchs hail 
Their friend, their playmate ! and his bold bright 

eye 
Compels the maiden s love-confessing sigh. 

VI. 

" Tell this in some more courtly scene, 

To maids and youths in robes of state ! 
I am a woman poor and mean, 

And therefore is my soul elate. 
War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled, 
That from the aged father tears his child ! 



VII. 

tt 



A murderous fiend, by fiends adored, 
He kills the sire and starves the son j 
The husband kills, and from her board 
Steals all his widow s toil had won ; 
Plunders God s world of beauty; rends away 
All safety from the night, all comfort from the 

day. 
vor,. i. s 



258 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

VIII. 

" Then wisely is my soul elate, 

That strife should vanish, battle cease : 
I m poor and of a low estate, 

The Mother of the Prince of Peace. 
Joy rises in me, like a summer s morn : [born." 
Peace, Peace on Earth ! the Prince of Peace is 



HUMAN LIFE, 

ON THE DENIAL OF IMMORTALITY. 

IF dead, we cease to be ; if total gloom 

Swallow up life s brief flash for aye, we fare 
As summer-gusts, of sudden birth and doom, 

Whose sound and motion not alone declare, 
But are their whole of being ! If the breath 

Be life itself, and not its task and tent, 
If even a soul like Milton s can know death ; 

O Man ! thou vessel purposeless, unmeant, 
Yet drone-hive strange of phantom purposes! 

Surplus of nature s dread activity, 
Which, as she gazed on some nigh^finished vase, 
Retreating slow, with meditative pause, 

She formed with restless hands unconsciously J 
Blank accident ! nothing s anomaly ! 

If rootless thus, thus substanceless thy state, 
Go, weigh thy dreams, and be thy hopes, thy fears, 
The counter- weights !--Thy laughter and thy tears 

Mean but themselves, each fittest to create, 
And to repay the other ! Why rejoices 









SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 259 

Thy heart with hollow joy for hollow g-ood ? 

Why cowl thy face beneath the mourner s hood, 
Why waste thy sighs, and thy lamenting- voices, 

Image of image, ghost of ghostly elf, 
That such a thing as thou feel st warm or cold ? 
Yet what and whence thy gain, if thou withhold 

These costless shadows of thy shadowy self ? 
Be sad ! be glad ! be neither ! seek, or shun ! 
Thou hast no reason why ! Thou can st have none ; 
Thy being s being is contradiction. 



MOLES. 

THEY shrink in, as Moles 
(Nature s mute monks, live mandrakes of the 

ground) 

Creep back from Light then listen for its sound ;- 
See but to dread, and dread they know not why- 
The natural alien of their negative eye. 



THE VISIT OF THE GODS. 

IMITATED FROM SCHILLER. 

NEVER, believe me, 
Appear the Immortals, 

Never alone : 
Scarce had I welcomed the sorrow-beguiler, 



260 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

lacchus ! but in came boy Cupid the smiler ; 
Lo ! Phoebus the glorious descends from his throne ! 
They advance, they float in, the Olympians all ! 
With divinities fills my 
Terrestrial hall ! 

How shall I yield you 
Due entertainment, 

Celestial quire ? 
Me rather, bright guests ! with your wings of up- 

buoyance 
Bear aloft to your homes, to your banquets of joy- 

ance, 

That the roofs of Olympus may echo my lyre ! 
Hah ! we mount ! on their pinions they waft up 
my soul ! 

O give me the nectar ! 
O fill me the bowl ! 
Give him the nectar ! 
Pour out for the poet, 
Hebe ! pour free ! 

Quicken his eyes with celestial dew. 
That Styx the detested no more he may view, 
And like one of us Gods may conceit him to be ! 
Thanks, Hebe ! I quaff it ! .To Paean, I ciy ! 
The wine of the Immortals 
Forbids me to die! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 261 



ELEGY, 

IMITATED FROM ONE OF AKENSIDE s BLANK- 
VERSE INSCRIPTIONS. 

NEAR the lone pile with ivy overspread, 

Fast by the rivulet s sleep-persuading sound, 

Where sleeps the moonlight" on yon verdant bed 
O humbly press that consecrated ground ! 

For there does Edmund rest, the learned swain ! 

And there his spirit most delights to rove : 
Young Edmund ! famed for each harmonious strain, 

And the sore wounds of ill- requited love. 

Like some tall tree that spreads its branches wide, 
And loads the west- wind with its soft perfume, 

His manhood blossomed : till the faithless pride 
Of fair Matilda sank him to the tomb. 

But soon did righteous Heaven her guilt pursue ! 

Where er with wildered step she wandered pale, 
Still Edmund s image rose to blast her view, 

Still Edmund s voice accused her in each gale. 

With keen regret, and conscious guilt s alarms, 
Amid the pomp of affluence she pined ; 

Nor all that lured her faith from Edmund s arms 
Could lull the wakeful horror of her mind. 

Go, Traveller ! tell the tale with sorrow fraught : 
Some tearful maid perchance, or blooming youth, 
May hold it in remembrance ; and be taught 
That riches cannot pay for Love or Truth. 



262 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



SEPARATION. 

A SWORDED man whose trade is blood, 
In grief, in anger, and in fear, 

Thro jungle, swamp, and torrent flood, 
I seek the wealth you hold so dear ! 

The dazzling charm of outward form, 
The power of gold, the pride of birth, 

Have taken Woman s heart by storm 
Usurp d the place of inward worth. 

Is not true Love of higher price 

Than outward Form, tho fair to see, 

Wealth s glittering fairy-dome of ice, 
Or echo of proud ancestry ? 

! Asra, Asra ! couldst thou see 
Into the bottom of my heart, 

There s such a mine of Love for thee, 
As almost might supply desert ! 

(This separation is, alas ! 

Too great a punishment to bear ; 
O ! take my life, or let me pass 

That life, that happy life, with her !) 

The perils, erst with steadfast eye 
Encounter d, now I shrink to see 

Oh ! I have heart enough to die 
Not half enough to part from Thee ! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 263 



ON TAKING LEAVE OF , 1817. 

To know, to esteem, to love and then to part, 
Makes up life s tale to many a feeling heart ! 
O for some dear abiding-place of Love, 
O er which my spirit, like the mother dove, 
Might brood with warming wings! fair as kind, 
Were but one sisterhood with you combined, 
(Your very image they in shape and mind) 
Far rather would I sit in solitude, 
The forms of memory all my mental food, 
And dream of you, sweet sisters, (ah, not mine !) 
And only dream of you (ah dream and pine !) 
Than have the presence, and partake the pride, 
And shine in the eye of all the world beside ! 



THE PANG MORE SHARP THAN ALL. 

AN ALLEGORY. 
I. 

HE too has flitted from his secret nest, 
Hope s last and dearest Child without a name !- 
Has flitted from me, like the warmthless flame, 
That makes false promise of a place of rest 
To the tir d Pilgrim s still believing mind ; 
Or like some Elfin Knight in kingly court, 
Who having won all guerdons in his sport, 
Glides out of view, and whither none can find ! 



26-f SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

II. 

Yes ! He hath flitted from me with what aim, 
Or why, I know not ! Twas a home of bliss, 
And He was innocent, as the pretty shame 
Of babe, that tempts and shuns the menaced kiss, 
From its twy-cluster d hiding 1 place of snow ! 
Pure as the babe, I ween, and all aglow 
As the dear hopes, that swell the mother s breast 
Her eyes down gazing 1 o er her clasped charge ; 
Yet gay as that twice happy father s kiss, 
That well might glance aside, yet never miss, 
Where the sweet markemboss d so sweet a targe 
Twice wretched he who hath been doubly blest ! 

in. 

Like a loose blossom on a gusty nig ht 
He flitted from me and has left behind 
(As if to them his faith he ne er did plight) 
Of either sex and answerable mind 
Two playmates, twin-births of his foster-dame: 
The one a steady lad (Esteem he hight) 
And Kindness is the gentler sister s name. 
Dim likeness now, tho fair she be and good 
Of that bright Boy who hath us all forsook ; 
But in his full-eyed aspect when she stood, 
And while her face reflected every look, 
And in reflection kindled she became 
So like Him, that almost she seem d the same ! 

IV. 

Ah ! He is gone, and yet will not depart I 
Is with me still, yet I from Him exil d ! 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 265 

For still there lives within my secret heart 
The magic image of the magic Child, 
Which there He made up-grow by his strong art, 
As in that crystal 1 orb wise Merlin s feat, 
The w r ondrous " World of Glass," wherein inisl d 
All long d for things their beings did repeat ; 
And there He left it, like a Sylph beguiled, 
To live and yearn and languish incomplete ! 

v. 

Can wit of man a heavier grief reveal ? 

Can sharper pang from hate or scorn arise ? 

Yes ! one more sharp there is that deeper lies, 

Which fond Esteem but mocks when he would heal. 

Yet neither scorn nor hate did it devise, 

But sad compassion and atoning zeal ! 

One pang more blighting-keen than hope betray d ! 

And this it is my woful hap to feel, 

When at her Brother s hest, the twin-born Maid 

With face averted and unsteady eyes, 

Her truant playmate s faded robe puts on ; 

And inly shrinking from her own disguise 

Enacts the faery Boy that s lost and gone. 

O worse than all ! O pang all pangs above 

Is Kindness counterfeiting absent Love ! 

1 Faerie Queeae, B. in. c. 2. s. 19. 



266 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



KUBLA KHAN: OR, A VISION 
IN A DREAM. 



A FRAGMENT. 

IN the summer of the year 1797, the Author, then in ill 
health, had retired to a lonely farm house between Porlock 
and Linton, on the Exmoor confines of Somerset and De 
vonshire. In consequence of a slight indisposition, an 
anodyne had been prescribed, from the effect of which he 
fell asleep in his chair at the moment that he was reading the 
following sentence, or words of the same substance, in " Pur- 
chas s Pilgrimage :" " Here the Khan Kubla commanded a 
palace to be built, and a stately garden thereunto : and thus 
ten miles of fertile ground were inclosed with a wall." 
The author continued for about three hours in a profound 
sleep, at least of the external senses, during which time he 
has the most vivid confidence, that he could not have com 
posed less than from two to three hundred lines ; if that 
indeed can be called composition in which all the images 
rose up before him as things, with a parallel production 
of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation or 
consciousness of effort. On awaking he appeared to him 
self to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking 
his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down 
the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was 
unfortunately called out by a person on business from Por 
lock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return 
to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, 
that though he still retained some vague and dim recollec 
tion of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the 
exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 267 

all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface 
of" a stream into which a stone had been cast, but, alas ! 
without the after restoration of the latter : 

Then all the charm 

Is broken all that phantom-world so fair 
Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread, 
And each mis-shape the other. Stay awhile, 
Poor youth ! who scarcely dar st lift up thine eyes 
The stream will soon renew its smoothness, soon 
The visions will return ! And lo ! he stays, 
And soon the fragments dim of lovely forms 
Come trembling back, unite, and now once more 
The pool beomes a mirror. 

Yet from the still surviving recollections in his mind, the 
Author has frequently purposed to finish for himself what 
had been originally, as it were, given to him. Avpiov 
lidiov aw : but the to-morrow is yet to come. 

As a contrast to this vision, I have annexed a fragment 
of a very different character, describing with equal fidelity 
the dream of pain and disease. 1816. 



KUBLA KHAN. 

IN Xanadu did Kubla Khan 
A stately pleasure-dome decree : 
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran 
Through caverns measureless to man 

Down to a sunless sea. 
So twice five miles of fertile ground 
With walls and towers were girdled round : 
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills 
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ; 



268 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 

And here were forests ancient as the hills, 
Enfolding 1 sunny spots of greenery. 

But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted 
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover ! 
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted 
As e er beneath a waning moon was haunted 
By woman wailing- for her demon-lover ! 
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seeth 
ing, 
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing, 

A mighty fountain momently was forced : 
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst 
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, 
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher s flail : 
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever 
It flung up momently the sacred river. 
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion 
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, 
Then reached the caverns measureless to man, 
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean : 
And mid this tumult Kubla heard from far 
Ancestral voices prophesying war ! 

The shadow of the dome of pleasure 

Floated midway on the waves ; 

Where was heard the mingled measure 

From the fountain and the caves. 
It was a miracle of rare device, 
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice I 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 269 

A damsel with a dulcimer 
In a vision once I saw : 
It was an Abyssinian maid, 
And on her dulcimer she played, 
Sinino of Mount Abora. 

O O 

Could I revive within me 

Her symphony and song-, 

To such a deep delight twould win me 
That with music loud and long-, 
I would build that dome in air, 
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice ! 
And all who heard should see them there, 
Arid all should cry, Beware ! Beware ! 
His flashing eyes, his floating hair ! 
Weave a circle round him thrice, 
And close your eyes with holy dread, 
For he on honey-dew hath fed, 
And drunk the milk of Paradise. 



,270 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



THE PAINS OF SLEEP. 

ERE on my bed my limbs I lay, 

It hath not been my use to pray 

With moving- lips or bended knees ; 

But silently, by slow degrees, 

My spirit I to Love compose, 

In humble trust mine eye-lids close, 

With reverential resignation, 

No wish conceived, no thought exprest, 

Only a sense of supplication ; 

A sense o er all my soul imprest 

That I am weak, yet not unblest, 

Since in me, round me, eveiy where 

Eternal strength and wisdom are. 

But yester-night I prayed aloud 
In anguish and in agony, 
Up-starting from the fiendish crowd 
Of shapes and thoughts that tortured me 
A lurid light, a trampling throng, 
Sense of intolerable wrong, 
And whom I scorned, those only strong ! 
Thirst of revenge, the powerless will 
Still baffled, and yet burning still ! 
Desire with loathing strangely mixed 
On wild or hateful objects fixed. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 271 

Fantastic passions ! maddening 1 brawl ! 
And shame and terror over all ! 
Deeds to be hid which were not hid, 
Which all confused I could not know, 
Whether I suffered, or I did : 
For all seemed guilt, remorse or woe, 
My own or others still the same 
Life-stifling 1 fear, soul-stifling shame. 

So two nights passed : the night s dismay 

Saddened and stunned the coining day. 

Sleep, the wide blessing, seemed to me 

Distemper s worst calamity. 

The third night, when my own loud scream 

Had waked me from the fiendish dream, 

O ercome with sufferings strange and wild, 

I wept as I had been a child ; 

And having thus by tears subdued 

My anguish to a milder mood, 

Such punishments, I said, were due 

To natures deepliest stained with sin, 

For aye entempesting anew 

The unfathomable hell within 

The horror of their deeds to view, 

To know and loathe, yet wish and do ! 

Such griefs with such men well agree, 

But wherefore, wherefore fall on me ? 

To be beloved is all I need, 

And whom I love, I love indeed. 



272 SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



LIMBO. 

Tis a strange place, this Limbo ! not a Place, 
Yet name it so ; where Time and weary Space 
Fettered from flight, with night-mare sense of 

fleeing, 

Strive for their last crepuscular half-being; 
Lank Space, and scytheless Time with branny hands 
Barren and soundless as the measuring sands, 
Not mark d by flit of Shades, unmeaning they 
As moonlight on the dial of the day ! 
But that is lovely looks like human Time, 
An old man with a steady look sublime, 
That stops his earthly task to watch the skies ; 
But he is blind a statue hath such eyes ; 
Yet having moonward turn d his face by chance. 
Gazes the orb with moon-like countenance, 
With scant white hairs, with fore top bald and high, 
He gazes still, his eyeless face all eye ; 
As twere an organ full of silent sight, 
His whole face seemeth to rejoice in light ! 
Lip touching lip, all moveless, bust and limb 
He seems to gaze at that which seems to gaze on him ! 
No such sweet sights doth Limbo den immure, 
Wall d round, and made a spirit-jail secure, 
By the mere horror of blank Naught-at-all, 
Whose circumambience doth these ghosts enthral. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 273 

A lurid thought is growthless, dull Privation, 

Yet that is but a Purgatory curse ; 

Hell knows a fear far worse, 

A fear a future state ; tis positive Negation 1 



NE PLUS ULTRA. 

SOLE Positive of Night ! 
Antipathist of Light ! 

Fate s only essence ! primal scorpion rod 
The one permitted opposite of God ! 
Condensed blackness and abysmal storm 
Compacted to one sceptre 
Arms the Grasp enorm 

The Intercepter 

The Substance that still casts the shadow Death ! 
The Dragon foul and fell 

The unrevealable, 
And hidden one, whost^breath 
Gives wind and fuel to the fires of Hell ! 

Ah ! sole despair 
Of both th* eternities in Heaven ! 
Sole interdict of all-bedewing prayer, 

The all-compassionate ! 
Save to the Lampads Seven 
Reveal d to none of all th Angelic State, 
Save to the Lampads Seven, 
That watch the throne of Heaven ! 

VOL. I. T 



APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 

TO " FIRE, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER." 

AT the house of a gentleman, who, by the principles and 
corresponding virtues of a sincere Christian, consecrates a 
cultivated genius and the favourable accidents of birth, 
opulence, and splendid connexions, it was my good fortune 
to meet, in a dinner-party, with more men of celebrity in 
science or polite literature, than are commonly found col 
lected round the same table. In the course of conversa 
tion, one of the party reminded an illustrious poet, then 
present, of some verses which he had recited that morning,^ 
and which had appeared in a newspaper under the name of 
a \Var-Kclogue, in which Fire, Famine, and Slaughter 
were introduced as the speakers. The gentleman so ad 
dressed replied, that he was rather surprised that none of 
us should have noticed or heard of the poem, as it had 
been, at the time, a good deal talked of in Scotland. It 
may be easily supposed, that my feelings were at this mo 
ment not of the most comfortable kind. Of all present, one 
only knew, or suspected me to be the author ; a man who 
would have established himself in the first rank of Eng 
land s living poets, if the Genius of our country had not 
decreed that he should rather be the first in the first rank of 
its philosophers and scientific benefactors. It appeared the 
general wish to hear the lines. As my friend chose to re 
main silent, I chose to follow his example, and Mr. * 
recited the poem. This he could do with the better grace, 
being known to have ever been not only a firm and active 
Anti-Jacobin and Anti-Gallican, but likewise a zealous ad 
mirer of Mr. Pitt, both as a good man and a great states 
man. As a poet exclusively, he had been amused with the 

* See p.tt;e 141. 



APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 275 

Eclogue ; as a poet he recited it ; and in a spirit, which 
made it evident, that he would have read and repeated it 
with the same pleasure, had his own name been attached to 
the imaginary object or agent. 

After the recitation, our amiable host observed, that in 
his opinion Mr. ***** had over-rated the merits of the 
poetry ; but had they been tenfold greater, they could not 
have compensated for that malignity of heart, which could 
alone have prompted sentiments so atrocious. I perceived 
that my illustrious friend became greatly distressed on my 
account ; but fortunately I was able to preserve fortitude 
and presence of mind enough to take up the subject without 
exciting even a suspicion how nearly and painfully it 
interested me. 

What follows, is the substance of what I then replied, 
but dilated and in language less colloquial. It was not my 
intention, I said, to justify the publication, whatever its 
author s feelings might have been at the time of composing 
it. That they are calculated to call forth so severe a reprot 
bation from a good man, is not the worst feature of such 
poems. Their moral deformity is aggravated in proportion 
to the pleasure which they are capable of affording to vin 
dictive, turbulent, and unprincipled readers. Could it be 
upposed, though for a moment, that the author seriously 
wished what he had thus wildly imagined, even the attempt 
to palliate an inhumanity so monstrous would be an insult 
to the hearers. But it seemed to me worthy of considera 
tion, whether the mood of mind, and the general state of 
sensations, in which a poet produces such vivid and fan 
tastic images, is likely to co-exist, or is even compatible 
with, that gloomy and deliberate ferocity which a se 
rious wish to realize them would pre-suppose. It had 
>een often observed, and all my experience tended to con 
firm the observation, that prospects of pain and evil to 
thers, and in general, all deep feelings of revenue are 
sommonly expressed in a few words, ironically tame, and 
IL Che mind under so direful and fiend-like an in- 



276 APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 

fluence seems to take a morbid pleasure in contrasting the 
intensity of its wishes and feelings, with the slightness or 
levity of the expressions by which they are hinted ; and 
indeed feelhigs so intense and solitary, if they were not 
precluded (as in almost all cases they would be) by a con 
stitutional activity of fancy and association, and by the spe 
cific joyousness combined with it, would assuredly them 
selves preclude such activity. Passion, in its own quality, 
is the antagonist of action ; though in an ordinary and 
natural degree the former alternates with the latter, and 
thereby revives and strengthens it. But the more intense 
and insane the passion is, the fewer and the more fixed are 
the correspondent forms and notions. A rooted hatred, an 
inveterate thirst of revenge, is a sort of madness, and still 
eddies round its favorite object, and exercises as it were a 
perpetual tautology of mind in thoughts and words, which 
admit of no adequate substitutes. Like a fish in a globe 
of glass, it moves restlessly round and round the scanty 
circumference, which it cannot leave without losing its 
vital element. 

There is a second character of such imaginary represen 
tations as spring from a real and earnest desire of evil to 
another, which we often see in real life, and might even 
anticipate from the nature of the mind. The images, I 
mean, that a vindictive man places before his imagination, 
will most often be taken from the realities of life : they will 
be images of pain and suffering which he has himself seen 
inflicted on other men, and which he can fancy himself as 
inflicting on the object of his hatred. I will suppose that 
we had heard at different times two common sailors, each 
speaking of some one who had wronged or offended him : 
that the first with apparent violence had devoted every 
part of his adversary s body and soul to all the horrid 
phantoms and fantastic places that ever Quevedo dreamt 
of, and this in a rapid flow of those outrageous and wildly 
combined execrations, which too often with our lower classes 
serve for escape-valves to carry off the excess of their pas- 



APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 277 

sions, as so much superfluous steam that would endanger 
the vessel if it were retained. The other on the contrary, 
with that sort of calmness of tone which is to the ear what 
the paleness of anger is to the eye, shall simply say, " If I 
chance to be made boatswain, as I hope I soon shall, and 
can but once get that fellow under my hand (and I shall 
be upon the watch for him,) I ll tickle his pretty skin ! 

I wont hurt him ! oh no ! I ll only cut the to the 

liver !" I dare appeal to all present, which of the two 
they would regard as the least deceptive symptom of de 
liberate malignity 1 nay, whether it would surprise them to 
see the first fellow, an hour or two afterwards, cordially 
shaking hands with the very man, the fractional parts of 
whose body and soul he had been so charitably disposing 
of; or even perhaps risking his life for him. What lan 
guage Shakespeare considered characteristic of malignant 
disposition, we see in the speech of the good-natured Gra- 
tiano, who spoke " an infinite deal of nothing more than any 
man in all Venice ;" 

" Too wild, too rude and bold of voice!" 

the skipping spirit, whose thoughts and words reciprocally 
ran away with each other ; 

" O be thou damn d, inexorable dog ! 

And for thy life let justice be accused!" 

and the wild fancies that follow, contrasted with Shylock s 
tranquil I stand here for Law." 

Or, to take a case more analogous to the present subject, 
should we hold it either fair or charitable to believe it to 
have been Dante s serious wish, that all the persons men 
tioned by him, (many recently departed, and some even 
alive at the time,) should actually suffer the fantastic and 
horrible punishments, to which he has sentenced them in 
his Hell and Purgatory? Or what shall we say of the 
passages in which Bishop Jeremy Taylor anticipates the 
state of those who, vicious themselves, have been the cause 
of vice and misery to their fellow-creatures. Could we 



278 APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 

endure for a moment to think that a spirit, like Bishop 
Taylor s, burning \vith Christian love ; that a man consti 
tutionally overflowing with pleasurable kindliness ; who 
scarcely even in a casual illustration introduces the image 
of woman, child, or bird, but he embalms the thought with 
so rich a tenderness, as makes the very words seem beauties 
and fragments of poetry from Euripides or Simonides ; 
can we endure to think, that a man so natured and so dis 
ciplined, did at the time of composing this horrible picture, 
attach a sober feeling of reality to the phrases 1 or that he 
would have described in the same tone of justification, in 
the same luxuriant flow of phrases, the tortures about to be 
inflicted on a living individual by a verdict of the Star- 
Chamber? or the still more atrocious sentences executed 
on the Scotch anti-prelatists and schismatics, at the com 
mand, and in some instances under the very eye of the Duke 
of Lauderdale, and of that wretched bigot who afterwards 
dishonoured and forfeited the throne of Great Britain ? Or 
do we not rather feel and understand, that these violent 
words were mere bubbles, flashes and electrical apparitions, 
from the magic cauldron of a fervid and ebullient fancy, 
constantly fuelled by an unexampled opulence of language. 
Were I now to have read by myself for the first time the 
poem in question, my conclusion, I fully believe, would be, 
that the writer must have been some man of warm feelings 
and active fancy ; that he had painted to himself the cir 
cumstances that accompany war in so many vivid and yet 
fantastic forms, as proved that neither the images nor the 
feelings were tl a result of observation, or in any way 
derived from realities. I should judge, that they were the 
product of his own seething imagination, and therefore 
impregnated with that pleasurable exultation which is ex 
perienced in all energetic exertion of intellectual power ; 
that in the same mood he had generalized the causes of the 
war, and then personified the abstract and christened it by 
the name which he had been accustomed to hear most often 
associated with its management and measures. I should 



APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 279 

guess that the minister was in the author s mind at the mo 
ment of composition, as completely cnraSriG, avai^oaa^KOQ, 
as Anacreon s grasshopper, and that he had as little notion 
of a real person of flesh and blood, 

"Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb," 

as Milton had in the grim and terrible phantoms Chalf per 
son, half allegory) which he has placed at the gates of Hell. 
I concluded by observing, that the poem was not calculated 
to excite passion in any mind, or to make any impression 
except on poetic readers ; and that from the culpable levity, 
betrayed at the close of the eclogue by the grotesque union 
of epigrammatic wit with allegoric personification, in the 
allusion to the most fearful of thoughts, I should conjecture 
that the " rantin Bardie," instead of really believing, much 
less wishing, the fate spoken of in the last line, in application 
to any human individual, would shrink from passing the 
verdict even on the Devil himself, and exclaim with poor 
Burns, 

But fare ye weel, auld Nickie-ben ! 
Oh ! wad ye tak a thought an men ! 
Ye aiblins might I dinna ken 

Still hae a stake 
I m wae to think upon yon den, 

Ev n for your sake . 

I need not say that these thoughts, which are here dilated, 
were in such a company only rapidly suggested. Our kind 
host smiled, and with a courteous compliment observed, 
that the defence was too good for the cause. My voice fal 
tered a little, for I was somewhat agitated ; though not so 
much on my own account as for the uneasiness that so kind 
and friendly a man would feel from the thought that he 
had been the occasion of distressing me. At length I 
brought out these words : " I must now confess, Sir ! that 
I am author of that poem. It was written some years ago. 
I do not attempt to justify my past self, young as I then 
was ; but as little as I would now write a similar poem, so 



280 APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 

far was I even then from imagining, that the lines would 
be taken as more or less than a sport of fancy. At all 
events, if 1 know my own heart, there was never a moment 
in my existence in which I should have been more ready, 
had Mr. Pitt s person been in hazard, to interpose my own 
body, and defend his life at the risk of my own." 

I have prefaced the poem with this anecdote, because to 
have printed it without any remark might well have been 
understood as implying an unconditional approbation on my 
part, and this after many years consideration. But if it be 
asked why I re-published it at all, I answer, that the poem 
had been attributed at different times to different other 
persons ; and what I had dared beget, I thought it neither 
manly nor honourable not to dare father. From the same 
motives I should have published perfect copies of two 
poems, the one entitled The Devil s Thoughts, and the 
other, The Two round Spaces on the Tomb-Stone,* but that 
the first three stanzas of the former, which were worth all 
the rest of the poem, and the best stanza of the remainder, 
were written by a friend of deserved celebrity ; and because 
there are passages in both, which might have given offence 
to the religious feelings of certain readers. I myself in 
deed see no reason why vulgar superstitions, and absurd 
conceptions that deform the pure faith of a Christian, 
should possess a greater immunity from ridicule than 
stories of witches, or the fables of Greece and Rome. But 
there are those who deem it profaneness and irreverence 
to call an ape an ape, if it but wear a monk s cowl on its 
head ; and I would rather reason with this weakness than 
offend it. 

The passage from Jeremy Taylor to which I referred, is 
found in his second Sermon on Christ s Advent to Judg 
ment ; which is likewise the second in his year s course of 
sermons. Among many remarkable passages of the same 

* See post 2nd volume. 



APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 231 

character in those discourses, 1 have selected this as the 
most so. " But when this Lion of the tribe of Judah shall 
appear, then Justice shall strike, and ]\lercy shall not hold 
her hands ; she shall strike sore strokes, and Pity shall not 
break the blow. As there are treasures of good things, so 
hath God a treasure of wrath and fury, and scourges and 
scorpions ; and then shall be produced the shame of lust 
and the malice of envy, and the groans of the oppressed 
and the persecutions of the saints, and the cares of covet- 
ousness and the troubles of ambition, and the indolence of 
traitors and the violences of rebels, and the rage of anger 
and the uneasiness of impatience, and the restlessness of 
unlawful desires ; and by this time the monsters and 
diseases will be numerous and intolerable, when God s 
heavy hand shall press the sanies and the intolerableness, 
the obliquity and the unreasonableness, the amazement and 
the disorder, the smart and the sorrow, the guilt and the 
punishment, out from all our sins, and pour them into one 
chalice, and mingle them with an infinite wrath, and make 
the wicked drink off all the vengeance, and force it down 
their unwilling throats with the violence of devils and ac 
cursed spirits." 

That this Tartarean drench displays the imagination rather 
than the discretion of the compounder ; that, in short, this 
passage and others of the same kind are in a bad taste, few 
will deny at the present day. It would, doubtless, have 
more behoved the good bishop not to be wise beyond what 
is written on a subject in which Eternity is opposed to 
Time, and a death threatened, not the negative, but the 
positive Opposite of Life ; a subject, therefore, which must 
of necessity be indescribable to the human understanding 
in our present state. But I can neither find nor believe, 
that it ever occurred to any reader to ground on such pas 
sages a charge against Bishop Taylor s humanity, or good 
ness of heart. I was not a little surprised therefore to find, 
in the Pursuits of Literature and other works, so horrible a 
sentence passed on Milton s moral character, for a passage 



282 APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 

in his prose writings, as nearly parallel to this of Taylor s 
as two passages can well be conceived to be. All his 
merits, as a poet, forsooth all the glory of having wri^n 
the Paradise Lost, are light in the scale, nay, kick the 
beam, compared with the atrocious malignity of heart, ex 
pressed in the offensive paragraph. I remembered, in 
general, that Milton had concluded one of his works on 
Reformation, written in the fervour of his youthful imagi 
nation, in a high poetic strain, that wanted metre only to 
become a lyrical poem. I remembered that in the former 
part he had formed to himself a perfect ideal of human 
virtue, a character of heroic, disinterested zeal and devotion 
for Truth, Religion, and public Liberty, in act and in suf 
fering, in the day of triumph and in the hour of martyr 
dom. Such spirits, as more excellent than others, he 
describes as having a more excellent reward, and as distin 
guished by a transcendant glory : and this reward and this 
glory he displays and particularizes with an energy and 
brilliance that announced the Paradise Lost as plainly, as 
ever the bright purple clouds in the east announced the 
coming of the Sun. Milton then passes to the gloomy 
contrast, to such men as from motives of selfish ambition 
and the lust of personal aggrandizement should, against 
their own light, persecute truth and the true religion, and 
wilfully abuse the powers and gifts entrusted to them, to 
bring vice, blindness, misery and slavery, on their native 
country, on the very country that had trusted, enriched and 
honored them. Such beings, after that speedy and appro 
priate removal from their sphere of mischief which all good 
and humane men must of course desire, will, he takes for 
granted by parity of reason, meet with a punishment, an 
ignominy, and a retaliation, as much severer than other 
wicked men, as their guilt and its consequences were more 
enormous. His description of this imaginary punishment 
presents more distinct pictures to the fancy than the ex 
tract from Jeremy Taylor ; but the thoughts in the latter 
are incomparably more exaggerated and horrific. All this 



APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 283 

I knew ; but I neither remembered, nor by reference and 
careful re-perusal could discover, any other meaning, vither 
in Milton or Taylor, but that good men will be rewarded, 
and the impenitent wicked punished, in proportion to their 
dispositions and intentional acts in this life ; and that if 
the punishment of the least wicked be i earful beyond con 
ception, all words and descriptions must be so far true, 
that they must fall short of the punishment that awaits the 
transcendantly wicked. Had Milton stated either his ideal 
of virtue, or of depravity, as an individual or individuals 
actually existing ? Certainly not. Is this representation 
worded historically, or only hypothetically ? Assuredly the 
latter. Does he express it as his own wish, that after 
death they should suffer these tortures ? or as a general 
consequence, deduced from reason and revelation, that 
such will be their fate 1 Again, the latter only. His wish 
is expressly confined to a speedy stop being put by Provi 
dence to their power of inflicting misery on others. But 
did he name or refer to any persons living or dead ! No. 
But the calumniators of Milton dare say (for what will 
calumny not dare say ?) that he had Laud and Strafford in 
his mind, while writing of remorseless persecution, and the 
enslavement of a free country, from motives of selfish am 
bition. Now, what if a stern anti-prelatist should dare say, 
that in speaking of the insolencies of traitors and the 
violences of rebels, Bishop Taylor must have individualised 
in his mind, Hampden, Hollis, Pym, Fairfax, Ireton, and Mil 
ton ? And what if he should take the liberty of concluding, 
that, in the after description, the Bishop was feeding and 
feasting his party-hatred, and with those individuals before 
the eyes of his imagination enjoying, trait by trait, horror 
after horror, the picture of their intolerable agonies 1 Yet 
this bigot would have an equal right thus to criminate the 
one good and great man, as these men have to criminate 
the other. Milton has said, and 1 doubt not but that Tay 
lor with equal truth could have said it, " that in his whole 
life he never spake against a man even that his skin should 



284 APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 

be grazed." He asserted this when one of his opponents 
(either Bishop Hall or his nephew) had called upon the 
women and children in the streets to take up stones and 
stone him {Milton). It is known that Milton repeatedly 
used his interest to protect the royalists ; but even at a 
time when all lies would have been meritorious against 
him, no charge was made, no story pretended, that he had 
ever directly or indirectly engaged or assisted in their per 
secution. Oh! methinks there are other and far better 
feelings, which should be acquired by the perusal of our 
great elder writers. When I have before me on the same 
table, the works of Hammond and Baxter : when I reflect 
with what joy and dearness their blessed spirits are now 
loving each other : it seems a mournful thing that their 
names should be perverted to an occasion of bitterness 
among us, who are enjoying that happy mean which the 
human too-much on both sides was perhaps necessary to 
produce. " The tangle of delusions which stifled and dis 
torted the growing tree of our well-being has been torn 
away ; the parasite-weeds that fed on its very roots have 
been plucked up with a salutary violence. To us there 
remain only quiet duties, the constant care, the gradual 
improvement, the cautious unhazardous labours of the indus 
trious though contented gardener to prune, to strengthen, 
to engraft, and one by one to remove from its leaves and 
fresh shoots the slug and the caterpillar. But far be it from 
us to undervalue with light and senseless detraction the 
conscientious hardihood of our predecessors, or even to 
condemn in them that vehemence, to which the blessings it 
won for us lea\ e us now neither temptation nor pretext. 
We ante-date the feelings, in order to criminate the authors, 
of our present liberty, light and toleration."* 

If ever two great men might seem, during their whole 
lives, to have moved in direct opposition, though neither 
cf them has at any time introduced the name of the other, 

* The Friend, p. 54. 



APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 285 

Milton and Jeremy Taylor were thev r . The former com 
menced his career by attacking the Church-Liturgy and all 
set forms of prayer. The latter, but far more successfully, 
by defending both. Milton s next work was then against 
the Prelacy and the then existing Church-Government 
Taylor s in vindication and support of them. Milton be 
came more and more a stern republican, or rather an advo 
cate for that religious and moral aristocracy which, in his 
day, was called republicanism, and which, even more than 
royalism itself, is the direct antipode of modern jacobinism. 
Taylor, as more and more sceptical concerning the fitness of 
men in general for power, became more and more attached 
to the prerogatives of monarchy. From Calvinism with a 
still decreasing respect for Fathers, Councils, and for 
Church-antiquity in general, Milton seems to have ended 
in an indifference, if not a dislike, to all forms of ecclesias 
tic government, and to have retreated wholly into the 
inward and spiritual church-communion of his own spirit 
with the Light, that lighteth every man that cometh into 
the world. Taylor, with a growing reverence for authority, 
an increasing sense of the insufficiency of the Scriptures 
without the aids of tradition and the consent of authorized 
interpreters, advanced as far in his approaches, (not indeed 
to Popery, but) to Roman-Catholicism, as a conscientious 
minister of the English Church could well venture. Milton 
would be, and would utter the same, to all, on all occasions : 
he would tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth. Taylor would become all things to all men, if by any 
means he might benefit any ; hence he availed himself, in 
his popular writings, of opinions and representations which 
stand often in striking contrast with the doubts and convic 
tions expressed in his more philosophical works. He 
appears, indeed, not too severely to have blamed that 
management of truth (istam falsitatem dispensativam) au 
thorised and exemplified by almost all the fathers : Integrum 
omnino doctoribus et ccetus Christiani antistitibus esse, ut 
dolos versent, falsa veris intermisceant et imprimis religi- 



286 APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 

onis hostes fallant, dummodo veritatis commodis et utilitati 
inserviant. 

The same antithesis might be carried on with the ele 
ments of their several intellectual powers. Milton, austere, 
condensed, imaginative, supporting his truth by direct 
enunciation of lofty moral sentiment and by distinct visual 
representations, and in the same spirit overwhelming what 
he deemed falsehood by moral denunciation and a succes 
sion of pictures appalling or repulsive. In his prose, so 
many metaphors, so many allegorical miniatures. Taylor, 
eminently discursive, accumulative, and (to use one of his 
own words) agglomerative ; still more rich in images than 
Milton himself, but images of fancy, and presented to the 
common and passive eye, rather than to the eye of the ima 
gination. Whether supporting or assailing, he makes his 
way either by argument or by appeals to the affections, un 
surpassed even by the schoolmen in subtlety, agility, and 
logic wit, and unrivalled by the most rhetorical of the 
fathers in the copiousness and vividness of his expressions 
and illustrations. Here words that convey feelings, and 
words that flash images, and words of abstract notion, flow 
together, and whirl and rush onward like a stream, at once 
rapid and full of eddies ; and yet still interfused here and 
there, we see a tongue or islet of smooth water, with some 
picture in it of earth or sky, landscape or living group of 
quiet beauty. 

Differing, then, so widely, and almost contrariantly, 
wherein did these great men agree ? wherein did they re 
semble each oth^r^ In genius, in learning, in unfeigned 
piety, in blameless purity of life, and in benevolent aspi 
rations and purposes for the moral and temporal improve 
ment of the.ir fellow-creatures ! Both of them wrote a 
Latin Accidence, to render education less painful to 
children ; both of them composed hymns and psalms 
proportioned to the capacity of common congregations ; 
both, nearly at the same time, set the glorious ex 
ample of publicly recommending and supporting general 



APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 287 

toleration, and the liberty both of the pulpit and the 
press ! In the writings of neither shall we find a single 
sentence, like those meek deliverances to God s mercy, 
with which Laud accompanied his votes for the mutilations 
and loathsome dungeoning of Leighton and others! no 
where such a pious prayer as we find in Bishop Hall s 
memoranda of his own life, concerning the subtle and 
witty atheist that so grievously perplexed and gravelled 
him at Sir Robert Drury s till he prayed to the Lord to 
remove him, and behold ! his prayers were heard : for 
shortly afterward this Philistine-combatant went to Lon 
don, and there perished of the plague in great misery ! In 
short, no where shall we find the least approach, in the 
lives and writings of John Milton or Jeremy Taylor, to 
that guarded gentleness, to that sighing reluctance, with 
which the holy brethren of the Inquisition deliver over a 
condemned heretic to the civil magistrate, recommendin- 
him to mercy, and hoping that the magistrate will treat the 
erring brother with all possible mildness ! the magistrate, 
who too well knows what would be his own fate, if he 
dared offend them by acting on their recommendation. 

The opportunity of diverting the reader from myself to 
characters more worthy of his attention, has led me far be 
yond my first intention; but it is not unimportant to 
expose the false zeal which has occasioned these attacks on 
our elder patriots. It has been too much the fashion, first 
to personify the Church of England, and then to speak of 
different individuals, who in different ages have been rulers 
in that church, as if in some strange way they constituted 
its personal identity. Why should a clergyman of the 
present day feel interested in the defence of Laud or Shel 
don ? Surely it is sufficient for the warmest partizan of our 
establishment, that he can assert with truth, when our 
Church persecuted, it was on mistaken principles held in 
common, by all Christendom ; and at all events, far less 
culpable was this intolerance in the Bishops, who were 
maintaining the existing laws, than the persecuting spirit 



APOLOGETIC PREFACE. 

afterwards shown by their successful opponents, who had 
no such excuse, and who should have been taught mercy 
by their own sufferings, and wisdom by the utter failure of 
the experiment in their own case. We can say, that our 
Church, apostolical in its faith, primitive in its ceremonies, 
unequalled in its liturgical forms ; that our Church, which 
has kindled and displayed more bright and burning lights of 
genius and learning, than all other protestant churches 
since the reformation, was (with the single exception of 
the times of Laud and Sheldon) least intolerant, when all 
Christians unhappily deemed a species of intolerance their 
religious duty ; that Bishops of our church were among the 
first that contended against this error ; and finally, that 
since the reformation, when tolerance became a fashion, the 
Church of England in a tolerating age, has shown herself 
eminently tolerant, and far more so, both in spirit and in 
fact, than many of her most bitter opponents, who profess 
to deem toleration itself an insult on the rights of mankind ! 
As to my self, who not only know the Church-Establishment 
to be tolerant, but who see in it the greatest, if not the sole 
safe bulwark of toleration, I feel no necessity of defending 
or palliating oppressions under the two Charleses, in order 
to exclaim with a full and fervent heart, Esto perpettia ! 



END OF VOL. I. 



LONDON : 
PRINTED BY C. WH ITHNCHAK, TOOKS COUHT.